Evolution of the Chinese middle class: more than 80 million Chinese people travelling abroad in 2012?

Aside tips about life in China and expatriate housing assistance, which are the purpose of this blog, some series of articles will be written to question the evolution of Chinese society. To start these new series, some articles about Chinese middle class seem to be logical, seen the amazing growth of this category of population in a society that went through unbelievable changes in less than two decades.

One of the main difficulty is to find a criterion to define this emerging middle class. In this post, we will put forward a new Chinese way of life characteristic: tourism.

The fact that a Chinese person has travelled abroad is a serious clue that this person belongs to the Chinese middle class. The number of Chinese people travelling abroad increases year after year: according to Reuters, during the first semester of 2012, 39 million Chines people have been visiting a foreign country, a figure 5 times larger than 5 years ago at the same period of the year.

Consumer behavior reflects the economic situation of a country: people consume on the condition that they feel that the overall situation is good. Tourism is a good indicator because people know that they are going to spend a lot of money if they travel abroad.

In 2011, 70 million Chinese people have done tourism abroad, they visited expansive places such as Bali island, Paris, Dubai, London or important Asiatic economic centers such as Hong Kong or Singapore.

These impressive figures are a good reflection of the spectacular growth of Chinese middle class over the past few years.

Do you have feelings about this touristic boom and do you think it can be an indicator a Chinese person belongs to the middle class ?

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