One-fifth of all tourism spending around the world is now being done by Chinese travelers. That’s the sweeping conclusion of a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, released earlier this week based on 2017 statistics.

The report notes that China continues to lead global outbound travel, having spent $258 billion (RMB 1.76 trillion) on international tourism in 2017. Total tourism spending by all nations, a figure which includes hotels and transportation, stood at $1.3 trillion (RMB 8.867 trillion), some $94 billion (RMB 641 billion) more than in 2016. (U.S. tourists were second to the Chinese in spending.)

“The UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition” noted that, while Chinese spending only increased 4.7 percent year-on-year, U.S. tourism spending increased 9.3 percent. Both nationalities trailed the Russians, however, who increased travel expenditures by a whopping 29.7 percent.

The UNWTO noted that data for the first four months of 2018 shows a continued strong year for tourism and that the outlook from a panel of experts they annually survey is “one of the most optimistic in decades.”

The China Tourism Academy, a government agency, reports that, in the first half of this year, Chinese tourists made 71.3 million international trips, up 15 percent year-on-year.

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