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China to continue pushing outbound tourism


1/23/2013

Country commits to international tourism despite slowdown in economy...



China will continue encouraging its citizens to travel overseas, despite the economic slowdown at home, a senior official has said. During a trip to Spain to meet with UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy & Tourism, José Manuel Soria, the Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Shao Qiwei said that tourism remained one of the Chinese government’s ‘key strategic pillars’ for economic growth, and that outbound tourism would also help boost China’s development in the long-term. “With 148 countries now included in the list of ‘Approved Destination Status’ (ADS), the government, and particularly the CNTA, will continue to promote the travelling of Chinese people abroad as we believe in the mutual benefits of collaboration.

By continuing to send Chinese travelers to Europe, the benefits will eventually flow back to China,” Shao said in Madrid. In 2012, 80 million Chinese travelled abroad, while 2.9 billion Chinese made domestic trips. Inbound tourism however, dipped 1.5% to 133m, with fewer than 58m visitors staying overnight. Shao added that following the rapid growth of tourism in China in recent years, the country would now focus on “quality and sustainability”. “While the tourism sector has grown signifi cantly over the past years in terms of volume, the future of the sector should focus on the diversification of tourism products, on environmental protection, on the quality of the workforce and overall quality over quantity. In this respect UNWTO support and guidance is of the upmost importance,” said Shao. China is now the largest visitor source market for many Asian countries, including Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Globally, the number of outbound Chinese tourists is expected to reach 100m by 2020.

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