Yes, that’s a billion with a “B.” According to a report by Xinhua, tourists from China spent around $1 trillion yuan (roughly $163 billion) overseas last year. That figure exceeded the $155 billion estimation by the China Tourism Academy.
Gao Hucheng, China’s Commerce Minister said in a press conference:
“Outbound travelers from China exceeded 100 million and combined consumption volume of Chinese tourists surpassed 1 trillion yuan last year … There are various reasons behind this phenomenon, and one important reason is the price difference.”
Gao also noted that high taxes and pricing strategies of foreign brands lead to higher prices for the same products if they were bought in China. This would explain why many Chinese opt to buy luxury goods overseas instead of in their home country.