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People working in the tourism industry can breathe a sigh of relief with the fourth day of the Golden Week holiday in China. Especially Japan, Taiwan and other places should have been fully aware that the power of Chinese tourists has not been diminished by the economic slowdown and downturn in the stock market.

The number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad during 2015 Golden Week is estimated to be over 4 million for the first time, increasing by 11.1 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Apple Daily reports that according to data from several travel websites, Japan has become the most popular tourist location among Chinese tourists during the Golden Week holiday. In addition, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan are also popular choices.

Wherever Chinese tourists go, endless lines of people shopping follow and boost the local economy. Tourism accounts for a significant share of the economy in Thailand and mainland tourists contributed mostly to its economic growth of 2.8% in the second quarter this year.

The NIA (National Immigration Agency) estimates, the total number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan will break last year’s record of 80,000 visitors and reach 90,000 people during the Golden Week holiday this year.

UDN reports, mainland tourists visiting Alishan, Chiayi have increased by 3,000 people each day; the number of tourists at Sun Moon Lake has also grown by more than 30 percent with about 2,000 to 3,000 people per day.

Chinese tourists are swarming Tokyo, Japan, and medicine, vitamins and baby products have become shopping spree targets. Ikebukuro, Akihabara and other places have stores with “Celebrate the National Day" posters in simplified Chinese. Many electrical appliances shops broadcast in Chinese and the merchandises are labeled with Chinese as well.

Weibo users title their posts with words like, “Shinjuku occupied! Akihabara occupied! Shibuya occupied! Ikebukuro occupied! Tokyo basically has been under our control!" Japan has even created a new word, bakubai, to describe Chinese tourist’s crazy shopping spree.

There are large Japanese department stores that promote a five percent discount if their customers shop with a Chinese UnionPay Card. Nobuhiro Hattori, the director of the promotion department of the Matsuya Ginza, says Chinese tourists contribute to 80% of the consumption of duty-free products. In order to further attract tourists, the company set up special stores targeting foreign tourists this year and service is provided in Chinese and English.

Though some analysts have forecasted the economic slowdown will wane the mainland tourists’ desire for traveling overseas, the impact does not seem large so far. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, comparing with the performance last year, Chinese tourists visiting Japan in July and August have respectively increased by 105% and 133%, lower than the 167% of June, which is regarded as the aftermath of the Chinese stock market crash, but the growth level has doubled.

CEIC predicts that Chinese travelers’ interest in going abroad will still be quite high in the next ten years. The overall figure of traveling overseas is estimated to grow from 116 million in 2014 to 242 million people in 2024, which is equivalent to the total of overseas travelers from Germany, Iran and Egypt.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang