U.S. hospitality firm Carlson, which controls hotel group Rezidor, said there were around 3 million Chinese visits to Europe each year at present, compared with about half a million to the United States.

Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen said there were some estimates that the number of outbound Chinese travelers could reach more than 100 million a year over the course of the decade as personal wealth increases.

He said Starwood had recently launched a booking engine purely in Chinese and had made sure all of its marketing materials were in Chinese and English.

"We're making sure that in high-traffic destinations for Chinese travelers that we have local language capability," he told Reuters at the ITB travel fair in Berlin.

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