Date: July 02 2012
Australia is the third most-popular tourist destination for Chinese millionaires, a report by Shanghai-based private wealth researcher Rupert Hoogewerf reveals.
More than 60 per cent of Chinese millionaires surveyed in Mr Hoogewerf’s report picked travel as their favourite leisure activity.
Travel also accounts for close to a third of millionaires’ annual spending budget which amounts to $277,000, according to The Chinese Luxury Traveller 2012.
For a second year in a row, Australia has ranked behind France and the US as one of the most attractive places for Chinese millionaires to relax, sight-see and shop. The report also reveals that more than 12 per cent of Chinese millionaires own a holiday house in Australia.
‘‘The Chinese luxury travel market is flourishing and shows promising signs of stable growth, with the number of Chinese out-bound tourists set to reach 77 million, a staggering increase of 12 per cent year on year,’’ said Mr Hoogewerf in the report.
China has seen an explosive growth in the number of millionaires in recent years. Mr Hoogewerf, a long-time chronicler of China’s emerging rich, has estimated that China has at least 7500 yuan billionaires - or those holding at least $150 million in assets.
Mr Hoogewerf said his estimate of the number of known Chinese millionaires is likely to be an under-estimate: ‘‘for every Chinese billionaire we identify, another two exist under the radar.’’
If the latter estimate is true, it would add another 15,000 people to the ranks of yuan billionaires in China.
The report also says that China is home to more than 600 US-dollar billionaires, of which 325 have hidden wealth.
China’s super-rich, especially the relatives and business associates of Communist party officials often hide their assets and incomes of dubious origins from public scrutiny.
Last week, Bloomberg revealed that the relatives of Xi Jinping - the heir-presumptive to the Chinese communist throne - have more than $US376 million in assets stashed away in offshore locations including villas in Hong Kong.
Chinese travellers are also big spenders when they jet around the globe. They occupy the top spot in terms of tax-free shopping, with watches and jewels their most-favoured purchases.
They also like to travel in style, with the majority of them flying either business or first class, and staying at up-market hotels such as Shangri-La, Hilton and Ritz-Carlton.
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