Travelers from China will spend about $2.8 billion a year in Europe by the end of the decade, as the growing China economy gives more people the purchasing power to travel outside the country, according to a University of London study commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

The number of Chinese tourists traveling to Europe will grow to 4.5 million in 2015, up about 50% from the number of Chinese who traveled there in 2010, and the numbers will surge to 8.6 million in 2020, according to the study.

Also by 2020, the study said, more of the tourists will shed traditional tour groups and travel independently.

Italy, France and Germany were the most popular European destinations for Chinese tourists last year, according to the study.

For hotel and hospitality news, follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.

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