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China’s tourism industry has been flourishing over the past few decades to become one of the world’s top inbound and outbound tourist markets. It is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country and is the new growth area in their strive for economic development. The boom in travel can be accredited to several factors including reform and opening, the emergence of new wealth & disposable incomes, demand to see the world, and the ease & control on travel restrictions; all of which, make China the third most visited country in the world.

The total number of overseas tourists in 2010 was 55.98 million. Revenue from China’s travel industry in 2010 was $234.8 billion. The United nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported that China saw 53 million visitors in 2010, ranking it the world’s third leading travel destination. Further, some 2.1 billion domestic trips were made, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year.

China and its tourism industry is a very attractive destination for tourists and visitors. With promotional campaigns, many online travel companies and tailored travel packages, traveling to China is easy and becoming the preferred choice. Citing the country’s extensive and diverse culture, heritage sites, and culinary arts, The UNWTO has predicted that China will become the world’s leading travel destination by 2020.The country has successfully shown they can satisfy the diversified needs of travelers. Over the last decade, China has exceed all other Asian countries to become the leader in international tourism in the Asia Pacific region. Estimates indicate that inbound travel to China will grow to 188 million by 2015, making the country the largest tourist destination in the world after 2015, surpassing Japan and the United States.

Having been closed to most of the outside world for almost three decades, China’s veil was lifted when in the late 1970s Deng Xiaoping vigorously promoted China tourism as a means of earning foreign exchange. It was then that China started to develop its tourism industry. The country’s economic development of throughout the 1980s led to an explosion in improvements, notably in their tourism industry. Significant investment in China’s tourism programs led to major accommodations constructions, renovations on targeted tourist destinations and the training of a professional hospitality and tourism workforce. By the middle of the decade some 250 places were opened to foreign visitors, rewarding China’s tourism industry with nearly 1.4 million foreigners and US$1.3 billion in tourism revenue. This was due in great part by the expansion of both the domestic and international air and ground transport, which made travel more convenient.

Currently, China boasts being the biggest domestic tourist market in the world. This has helped sustain the country’s travel industry with an average 20 percent growth year on year. From 2000 to 2009 China’s tourism revenue increased 145%.
Tourism Factors

According to the China National Tourism Administration, a record 56 million mainland tourists traveled overseas in 2010. This number is an increase of 8.3 million from the previous year. In total, 134 million overseas visitors came to China, up 6 percent year on year, spending US$45 billion within the country. Meanwhile outbound tourism is strong, with domestic Chinese tourists making 2.1 billion trips last year, up 11 percent over 2009, bringing revenue of US$189 billion. By 2020, industry experts have predicted that China will top the tourism industry list at US$688.5 billion.

These figures show that China’s tourism industry is growing leaps and bounds. Key indicators show that for the first time in China’s travel industry history, the number of mainland tourists going overseas has exceeded that of inbound tourists. “China’s tourism has entered a new round of golden development, thanks to fast economic development, the growth of people’s incomes and further opening-up,” stated the China National Tourism Administration. Furthermore, the agency said, “It is very possible that in a few years’ time the number of Chinese traveling overseas will be bigger than the total number of overseas tourists coming in.”

Benefits of visiting

China is an amazingly exotic, culturally enriching country with thousands of years of history to discover and see. Travelers can tour many places and witness marvelous sites like the Great Wall of China, the Yangzte river, and other countless natural attractions & cultural relics. The country is full of awe-inspiring and memorable experiences. The favorable exchange rate of the Yuan to other currencies is also an added bonus. Finally, the Chinese tourism industry is increasing its language skills to meet the demands of foreign travelers in order to provide ongoing quality and professional tours.

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