Chinese Tourists Make More Than 100 Million Overseas Trips in 2014

People hail the arrival of Asia's largest luxury cruise liner, Voyager of the Seas, in Tianjin, China, in 2012 Photograph by Imaginechina via AP Images

In the first 11 months of this year, mainland Chinese tourists made more than 100 million international trips—already topping the travel total for 2013, according to new data from the China National Tourism Administration.

Fifteen years ago, Chinese tourists made less than 10 million trips abroad. Since then, however, rising incomes have led to rapid growth in domestic and international travel.

Many of those trips—more than 60 percent—are within Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Almost 90 percent of destinations are within Asia.

China UnionPay—the country’s Visa card—now offers several promotions hoping to encourage overseas tourists to spend more. Cardholders visiting Paris, Rome, and Sydney can get 15 percent off hotels, restaurants, and major tourist attractions. Those touring in Bali, Phuket, and the Maldives can get 10 percent off.

Meanwhile, national tourism authorities for Switzerland and Iceland recently put up booths at Beijing’s “Ski & Style” industry event in late November, hoping to lure more affluent Chinese skiers to European slopes.