• Southeast Asia top choice for Chinese outbound tourists during holiday

    Ramesh Tiwari
    October 9, 2017
    Southeast Asia top choice for Chinese outbound tourists during holiday

    Beijing ( Xinhua ) : Southeast Asian countries remain top destinations for Chinese outbound tourists during the National Day holiday, according to the China Tourism Academy.

    Monitoring data from the academy showed that Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are among the 10 most popular destinations for outbound travelers during the holiday from Oct. 1 to 8, said Dai Bin, head of the Academy.

    Over 45 percent of the travelers chose Southeast Asian countries, Dai said. He attributed the boom to a rapidly increasing number of flights between China and its southeastern neighbors and the latter’s favorable visa policies for Chinese tourists.

    Among the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members, nine offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies for Chinese tourists. More than 2,700 flights fly between China and ASEAN countries every week.

    In 2016, more than 30 million trips were made between China and ASEAN countries, compared with 10 million in 2011. The two are each other’s largest overseas tourist destinations and largest sources of tourists, said a report on bilateral tourism cooperation issued in September.

    2017 marks the China-ASEAN Year of Tourism. Promoting regional economic integration through tourism is part of the theme of the 14th China-ASEAN Expo held in Guangxi last month.

    Tourism booming during China’s National Day holiday

    Likewise , tourism has been booming in China during the National Day holiday, benefiting the economy of China and many other countries, official data showed.

    One of China’s two Golden Weeks, the National Day holiday saw a surge in tourist revenue along with passenger flows. This year the holiday was extended by one day as the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Cake Festival, fell on Oct 4.

    A total of 705 million tourists traveled around the country during the holiday, generating 583.6 billion yuan (about $87.7 billion) of revenue, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said. The two figures represented increase of 11.9 percent and 13.9 percent year-on-year respectively, the CNTA said.

    Provinces with major scenic spots have seen rising numbers of tourists, with southwestern Guizhou having hosted over 46 million tourists who spent 30.5 billion yuan during the eight days, up 42.1 percent and 43.5 percent year-on-year respectively, said the CNTA.

    Inner Mongolia in north China was visited by 106.2 million tourists who spent 8.3 billion yuan, up 24.5 percent and 38.3 percent respectively.

    Most Chinese have chosen to indulge in food, cultural and rural tourism this year. Theme parks, museums and traditional culture streets have also seen an obvious growth in the number of visitors, according to the CNTA.

    The booming tourism was accompanied by busy traffic. Take railway as an example, over 110 million trips by railway have been made since the holiday travel rush started on Sept 28, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) said.

    The CRC scheduled thousands of extra trains during the holiday to ensure smooth travel. Likely, airports have seen a growing number of passengers, and highways have been burdened by more vehicles.

    The economic impacts of China’s mobile population have also been felt worldwide as more Chinese have opted to travel overseas.

    Data compiled by the CNTA showed that about 6 million Chinese from nearly 300 cities traveled to 1,155 cities in 88 countries or regions during the National Day holiday.

    Russia was the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, while Moscow was the most popular city, followed by St. Petersburg, Bangkok, Pattaya, and Singapore, the CNTA data showed.

    At a time when traditional growth drivers are losing steam, China has pinned hopes on services, including tourism, for new impetus to drive consumption and employment, and support economic growth and restructuring.

    China’s domestic tourism industry earned about 3.9 trillion yuan in 2016, and the country plans to raise tourism revenue to 7 trillion yuan by 2020.

    The nation will work to develop tourism into a major driver of economic transformation. By 2020, investment in tourism is expected to grow to 2 trillion yuan, and the sector will contribute more than 12 percent of GDP growth, according to a State Council five-year tourism plan (2016-2020).

    October 9 , 2017

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
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      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
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      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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