Survey: U.S. low on wish list for Chinese travelers

If you could go anywhere in the world, regardless of cost, where would you go? Ask that question in China and the answer youll hear more than any other is France. That was the result of a recent survey of the mainland China travel market by TNS, a research firm.

Based on multiple responses from 300 individuals surveyed in January, TNS said France came out ahead at 62%, followed by Switzerland, Greece and Italy.

Australia was the only other country above 50%. The U.S. ranked eighth at 44%.

TNS said the results suggested that while Chinas outbound market was still focused heavily on Hong Kong, Macau and nearby Asian destinations, there was a strong desire for longer-haul travel.

For the short-term, however, Chinese travelers are staying relatively close to home. When asked where they planned to travel for leisure in the next 12 months, 74% of respondents included Hong Kong in their answer, with Macau a distant second at 38%.

Beyond those two Chinese administrative regions, the destinations most often cited were Singapore and Thailand, with Korea and Malaysia tied for third place.

Only 23% mentioned Europe. The U.S. was mentioned by 10%, as were Vietnam and New Zealand.

In addition to asking where, TNS asked why, and elicited responses that are not much different from those given by Western travelers.

As motivators for leisure travel, sightseeing and relaxation scored high at 49% and 39% respectively.

Shopping was the most popular activity, even if it wasnt cited as a key purpose of the trip.

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