From Xinhua via China Daily (link):
About 15.45 million Chinese from the mainland are expected to visit foreign destinations in the first half of this year amid booming outbound Asia-Pacific tourists, indicated a survey by credit card company MasterCard International.
The prediction on a half-year basis indicates that more Chinese tourists will spend their holidays outside the homeland, as 28.85 million people traveled abroad last year.
Europe is the most favorite destination for Chinese on the mainland, which is followed by Australia and Hong Kong, according to the tourist survey, which is conducted every six month in 12 Asia-Pacific markets including Australia, China and Japan.
See also “Chinese on a grand tour” in the New York Times Oct. 2005
And “Overseas tourism lures Chinese holidaymakers” in China Daily Sept. 2004