As China's economy grows, Chinese travelers are spreading their wings ever farther afield. Hong Kong continues to be the first destination of choice for many Chinese travelers.
It's close. It's easy to get to. Language isn't a major issue. And visa regulations have been relaxed significantly in recent years.
If shopping is a key attraction, there is more to it than Hong Kong's reputation for bargains. Many mainland travelers also have more faith in products sold in the former British Crown Colony, fearing that many of the goods sold at home are fake.
Hong Kong supermarkets located near the border, for example, have suffered runs on baby formula – much to the chagrin of mothers living in the neighborhood.
Hong Kong is also famous for its food – from fine dining at five star hotels to those inexpensive dai pai dongs that line many side streets and back alleys. Hong Kong's street food is, in fact, often cited as one of the city's key draws.
And then there is Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, the Peak Tram, the Star Ferry – Hong Kong's list of attractions goes on.
Singapore Also Popular with Mainlanders
Next in line comes Singapore. Like Hong Kong, there are cultural and linguistic similarities that make mainlanders feel right at home in the Lion City. Singapore is also famous for its heritage architecture, its heady mixture of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian cooking styles, and its unique multicultural influences.
Of the top 10 destinations, all but two – New York, New York, and Las Vegas, Nevada – are in Asia. Of the top 20, nine are in Asia, six are in North America, four are in Europe, and one is in Australia.
By country, the United States appears to be the most highly favoured foreign destination for Chinese travelers, with fully five cities – New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, California, San Francsico, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii – all making the top 20. Italy comes in second, with two: Rome and Milan.
Most Popular Foreign Destinations for Chinese Travelers
These were the top 20 most popular foreign destinations for Chinese travelers in 2011 according to Hotels.com.
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Seoul, Korea
- New York, New York
- Osaka, Japan
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Phuket, Thailand
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- London, England
- Paris, France
- Los Angeles, California
- San Francisco, California
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Sydney, Australia
- Rome, Italy
- Vancouver, British Columbia,
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Milan, Italy