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People from China’s smaller cities are spending more and more on overseas trips, Alipay data shows

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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When they travel overseas, the total amount spent by residents of China’s third or fourth-tier cities grew faster than those from China’s tier-one cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, ac

When they travel overseas, the total amount spent by residents of China’s third or fourth-tier cities grew faster than those from China’s tier-one cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to Alibaba’s 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year Economic Report.

Based on Alipay data from the Chinese New Year holiday period (which is when many Chinese chose to travel) overseas spending from residents in Zhoushan, a small coastal city in East China’s Zhejiang province, increased 55% year-on-year, topping outbound tourists from all other Chinese cities.

Lianyungang city in East China’s Jiangsu province and Jinhua city in Zhejiang followed with growth rates of 44% and 43% respectively.

Beijing residents’ overseas spending only grew by 27%, while the growth rates for Shanghai and Guangzhou were 30% and 24% respectively.

However, Alibaba did not disclose the amount of average spending for each city in this report released on Monday.

Early last year, a whitepaper released by Alipay and Nielson predicted that the average spending of a Chinese tourist while overseas in 2018 would reach US$5,715, up by 3% compared to 2017.

What Alibaba’s new data seems to indicate is there’s an equalising effect between smaller cities and larger cities, where the spending of metropolitan citizens is leveling off, while the spending of small-town tourists is on the rise.

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