eijing : China continued to make rapid strides in the global tourism market with about 107 million people from the country making outbound trips last year, a new report said.
According to the China Outbound Tourism Development report published by China Tourism Academy, a think tank under the National Tourism Administration, the nation has been the biggest source of outbound travelers in the world for the last three years.
Last year, the number of Chinese tourists who traveled abroad exceeded 100 million for the first time, climbing 19.5 percent year-on-year.
The number of travelers from western regions, second and third tier cities and rural areas are expected to rise, the report said, without making any estimates.
The most popular tourist destinations for Chinese travelers were South Korea, followed by Thailand, Japan, the United States and Vietnam.
Dai Bin, head of the academy, said Hong Kong and Macao are also major travel destinations for tourists from the Chinese mainland."Despite the growth in the number of travelers, only about 5 percent of the Chinese population hold passports, and most tourists only undertake short-distance trips. Overseas travel has not yet become a national trend," he said.
The report said that favorable tourism policies have driven the growth of the Chinese tourism market. Many countries have introduced or are set to introduce visa exemptions or visa-on-arrival policies for Chinese travelers, and such policies are conducive for the growth in tourist traffic.
In addition, UnionPay credit card, a dominant bank card organization in China, has become the top choice of payment for Chinese travelers overseas. The acceptance of UnionPay cards are an important factor that contributes to travelers' satisfaction levels, the report said.
More than 40 percent of the Chinese travelers spent more than 15,000 yuan ($2,340) on their outbound trips. Shopping still tops the spending by Chinese travelers, with 88 percent of the travelers' expenditure dealing with shopping , China Daily reports .
China pledges more reform on tourism development
China will carry out more reforms to boost investment and consumption in tourism industry, the State Council, or China's cabinet, decided recently.
Tourism development is significant in fostering the country's modern service sector, increasing employment and income, as well as improving people's livelihoods, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The meeting urged improving tourism consumption. Construction of regional airports, roads to scenic spots, parking lots and washrooms in destinations, especially in less-developed central and western China, should be supported, the statement said.
Personalized tourism products focusing on rural areas will be supported, the meeting decided. The government will encourage college graduates and migrant workers who have returned to home villages to start their own rural tourism businesses, as a way to alleviate rural poverty, the statement said.
New popular tourism consumption choices should be discovered and well utilized, the cabinet said. Internet-related business mode such as online vacation rentals and transport rentals, should be easier to enter. Various tourism products such as for the elders, and for studying purposes, should be developed. Governments at all levels should further implement the paid-leave system, the cabinet said.
According to Xinhua , the meeting agreed to promote public-private-partnerships (PPP) in developing tourism projects, with more government investment and individual capital participation. It also urged to widen financing channels for tourism enterprises, and encourage financial institutions to increase credit support for those enterprises.
Better and colorful tourism activities will enrich people's life, and also boost economic development, the statement said.Source : China Daily / Xinhua
Aug 29, 2015