SPENDING by Chinese travelers nearly doubled from last year due to the growing number of affluent shoppers and the yuan's appreciation, Hurun Report said Tuesday.

Spending rose 91 percent last year, nearly double the growth in 2009. Clothes, watches, jewelry and cosmetics were the most popular purchases, the survey showed.

"The spending habits of Chinese travelers are becoming more and more interesting for global brands," said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and chief researcher of Hurun Report. "China's millionaires are fast becoming sophisticated."

The spending rise was powered by stronger demand for luxury products and stronger yuan, which makes international travel less expensive. An easing of visa application processes also boosted the number of Chinese travelers, the report said.

China's mainland for the first time ranked as the largest region in terms of spending on tax-free shopping, accounting for 17 percent of all tax-free shopping purchases, the report said, citing data collected by Global Blue. Russia was second at 16 percent.

The National Day holiday in October is the most popular travel period followed by the Spring Festival in January or February and Labor Day in May.

France, the United States and Australia are the favorite overseas destinations for Chinese travelers looking to buy luxury goods.

South China's Sanya City was the most popular domestic destination after Hainan Province launched a tax rebate program in April as part of the island's efforts to become a major tourist and shopping destination.

SOURCE: Shanghai Daily
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