Outbound Chinese tourists will double to 200 million annually by 2020 as income rises and other nations relax visa requirements to compete for spending, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said.

Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea may become the top destinations in the next three years, Aaron Fischer, the Hong Kong-based head of consumer and gaming research at CLSA, said in a briefing today. About 100 million Chinese tourists went overseas in 2013, the brokerage said.

The nation’s swelling middle class is spurring a boom in overseas travel, with cities competing to lure visitors. Chinese tourists spent $102 billion in 2012 and overseas spending last year probably reached a record, China Daily reported this month, citing the China National Tourism Administration.

“Chinese tourists are becoming increasingly savvy, independent, and demand higher quality experiences,” Fischer said. “There’ll be a multiplier effect on the hotel and gaming industry.”

The number of provinces in China with per-capita Gross Domestic Product exceeding $8,000 will jump to 27 by 2020 from 10 in 2013, CLSA said.

More flights and affordable health-care treatments are luring the Chinese to Thailand, while South Korea is enjoying a boom because of interest in K-pop culture, CLSA said.

–Editors: Hwee Ann Tan, Andrew Davis

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Butt in Hong Kong at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hwee Ann Tan at [email protected]

Tags: china
Photo Credit: A monogramed pillow says "welcome" in the bedroom of a suite at the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, Calif. The hotel is adding services and extras to help attract Chinese travelers. Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times/MCT