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Chinese tourists unfazed by the yuan's depreciation

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2015-09-09 08:10

Chinese tourists unfazed by the yuan's depreciation

Figures suggest China's recent currency depreciation hasn't swayed outbound Chinese tourists. The number of people who booked international trips for this year's National Day holiday week has increased compared with past years. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China's recent currency depreciation doesn't bother Beijing resident Wang Wendi, since she recently obtained a 10-year multiple-entry visa to the United States.

She's just excited to explore the US. And she doesn't believe US prices are exorbitant.

"I learned that I only lost about 100 yuan ($16) per 10,000 yuan at the current exchange rate," Wang said on Sept 2, before leaving for the US the next day.

Wang planned to spend 40,000 yuan on a two-week trip with her boyfriend-minus shopping. So, she's out about 400 yuan.

"But many foreign brands are at least 20 percent cheaper in the US," she says.

So, she's saving cash, in the end.

Figures suggest the yuan's depreciation hasn't swayed outbound Chinese tourists.

The number of Chinese people who've booked international trips for the National Day holiday week from Oct 1-7 has increased compared with previous years.

"Looking at bookings, the exchange rate against foreign currencies doesn't seem to have dampened enthusiasm for overseas travel," says Yan Xin, a publicity manager for China's largest travel agency, Ctrip.

The United States, Italy, Turkey, France, Russia, Australia, Greece, Egypt and New Zealand are this year's hottest destinations.

Trips to the Maldives and French Polynesia's Tahiti are nearly fully booked.

There are only a few slots available for most of the group trips to Europe from Sept 26 to Oct 4 on Ctrip's website.

"Many customers booked October trips in July or August," Yan says.

Italy, France and Switzerland remain the most popular European destinations.

"Nobody has canceled their travel plans," says Beijing U-tour International Travel Service publicity manager Li Mengran.

"The exchange rate will not influence group-tour prices this year since travel agencies typically had already locked in annual purchase plans with travel-service providers in foreign destinations, including Europe and the US," Li says.

In addition, most Chinese tourists won't pinch pennies when they shop abroad, she says.

"Overseas shopping is still much cheaper than the mainland."

Still, the rate change is costing individual travelers more, Li says.

"They have to book hotels and pay for the transportation at the going rates."

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