European destinations and shopping opportunities become a new favourite for Chinese tourists, reported China Business News.   The number of Chinese tourists going aboard increases significantly from 4250000 in 1995 to 9000000 in 2000. It is expected to climb to 1 million by 2020. Tour operators have been taking advantage of the new visa arrangement between China and 25 countries in European Union which makes traveling to Europe easier for Mainland people. More tours to Europe are organized.   A sales manager at China International Travel Services said that the Europe’s cheaper branded goods are attractive to Chinese tourists: “Chinese tourists like shopping. Every tourist visiting Switzerland would buy a Rolex or Rado.” According to statistics, an average Chinese tourist spent 987 US dollars on shopping alone which is even higher than an average Japanese tourist.   The increasing affluence of China’s burgeoning middle class is a crucial factor. These are people who have taken holidays in Asia, even in Europe. Luxury items are particularly popular because most travelers to Europe are more prosperous business people or senior officials who want to save 20% to 30% over the price charged for these high-duty products in China.

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