New figures from China show that the country has consolidated its position as the world's biggest source of tourists. A total of 97 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2013, according to China's National Tourism Administration. Whatever measure you choose, Chinese tourists now top the global rankings. Last year, just a little less than 100 million Chinese made foreign trips. And collectively they spent well over $100bn overseas surpassing any other nationality.
Little more than a generation ago, few Chinese ventured abroad. But the restrictions have gone; most are now free to travel, although some minorities like Tibetans still complain of many requirements to be fulfilled when getting their passports.
And as China's economy has expanded, so have people's horizons. China's new middle classes want to see the world. The most popular destinations are in Asia and Europe, Thailand for beaches, France for history and culture, while Britain, which requires a separate visa to the rest of Europe, has been left behind. It received just 200,000 Chinese visitors two years ago, and is now trying to simplify the process so it doesn't miss out on China's new spenders.
(FROM: http://www.bbc.co.uk. Acesso: 16/01/2014. Adapted.)
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