China maintained its leading role in the global tourism market with outbound tourists spending $258 billion (S$352 billion) in 2017, accounting for one-fifth of the world's total spending on tourism, according to a world tourism report.
As per the latest United Nations World Tourism Organisation World Tourism Barometer, Chinese tourist recorded more than 142 million international departures in 2017.
Last year, Chinese spent more on niche sectors, including whisky tasting, aurora chasing, voluntary camps and outdoor activities.
The report also showed a robust growth in international tourism. The total spending in global travel reached $1.3 trillion in 2017, marking the highest growth for the eighth consecutive year.
After China, the second-biggest spenders were US travellers who spent $135 billion on international travel in 2017. The outbound spending of Russia and Brazil also saw strong rebound after recent decline.
Countries in Europe and Africa were the most popular destinations last year. Demand was particularly high in Europe, where arrivals rose 8 per cent. Tourism spending grew notably in Spain, making it the second-largest tourism destination in 2017, followed by France.
The report showed a 6 per cent increase in international tourism arrivals between January and April this year.