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Saturday, December 27, 2014, 10:41

Holiday travelers poised to cash in on strong yuan

By Wang Zhuoqiong
Holiday travelers poised to cash in on strong yuan
Employees of a department store place products into 'lucky bags' for their new year sale in Tokyo on December 26, 2014. The bags will go on sale on January 1 when most major department store resume their business after the new year holidays. (AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI)

Still need to make up your mind about where to go for New Year's or Spring Festival in February?

Europe and Japan appear to be the best destinations for visits and shopping, given their weaker currencies against the yuan.

Since the summer, the yen has fallen against the yuan, as has the British pound.

The euro has also fallen significantly against the yuan since late spring, from a high of 8.6922 to 7.4792 on Friday, allowing Chinese travelers to cash in on visits to countries using the single currency.

Jiang Yiyi, director of international tourism development at the China Tourism Academy, a top tourism think tank in Beijing, said the yuan's stability and small rise have increased Chinese consumers' spending power overseas.

It means lower costs for accommodations, air tickets and products for Chinese tourists traveling to countries whose currencies have fallen against the yuan.

Of these, the yen's fall is the most visible, with visits to Japan from China increasing by 80 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2014.

Generally, demand for overseas travel from China has risen and will not be significantly affected by short-term changes in exchange rates against the yuan, Jiang said.

She added that last year 98.1 million Chinese tourists spent $120 billion in 110 different countries and regions - $68 billion more than foreign tourists spent in China.

Meanwhile, the US dollar has risen against the yuan since early November, from a low of 6.1078 to a high of 6.2325. The exchange rate on Friday was 6.1342.

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