MADRID, Aug. 500 (Xinhua) -- Chinese tourists are among the "best prepared" tourists in the world and have no "barriers" when it comes to traveling abroad, said a United Nations official.
Manuel Butler Halter, the executive director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), shared his opinions with Xinhua on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview on the findings of the UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition, which was published earlier this the week.
The official explained that Chinese tourists are among the best prepared in the world in terms of education and the use of modern technology.
"They don't have barriers such as the language problem that their parents had... They are very well-educated tourists," he said.
"They use the most modern payment means, such as mobile phones. They are radically different from the tourists that Europeans could have in mind if they don't know them well," Halter said.
He explained that the type of tourists visiting a foreign country is now different from those several years ago.
"We have changed from a 'gregarious' tourism, which saw people travel with a package and a tour operator, towards individual tourism which looks for experiences where spending habits have changed and where they don't travel from country to country, but where they get to know and enjoy local culture," Halter said.
Chinese outbound tourism has been growing continuously for over a decade and Halter said the tendency "will continue in the coming years."
He said that direct air links between China and Europe had increased drastically in recent years and that would only facilitate more Chinese tourists spending their holidays abroad.
According to the UN report on world tourism, Chinese tourists spent 258 billion U.S. dollars on international tourism in 2017, making up "almost a fifth of the total tourism spending of 1.3 trillion dollars."
"In terms of spending, the Chinese market is the 'top-spender' with a big difference over the second biggest spender," he told Xinhua.