France is overwhelmingly the destination of choice for well-heeled Chinese travelers going on luxury trips abroad while the US ranks close behind, a report from the Hurun Research Institute said yesterday.
The Maldives, Switzerland and Dubai are the international destinations growing most rapidly in popularity as travel spots favored by the "Chinese luxury traveler," partly thanks to visa arrangements offered by the countries, the research by the institute found.
The typical "luxury traveler" goes away for an average of eight days at a time, three times a year, and travels in groups of nine, according to the institute and International Luxury Travel Market Asia, which interviewed 150 Chinese millionaires in US dollar terms on their preferences.
These wealthy travelers are holidaying more - 20 days per year, up five days on last year.
Shopping is a prime motivation for travel, with each traveler spending an average of 813 euros (US$1,011) on tax-free goods per transaction, according to Global Blue, the tax-free refund group.
China's luxury travelers' "love affair with all things France" was unlikely to change any time soon, said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun's founder. More than 40 percent of those surveyed cited France as being in their top 10 preferred destinations to travel to.
Within China, Sanya in Hainan Province, Hong Kong and Yunnan Province are the top three spots for luxury travelers to visit, the institute found. In addition, Tibet is becoming more popular.