China reports stellar year for tourism – 01/02/08

CHINA. China (PRC) welcomed 131.9 million international arrivals in 2007 (preliminary estimate), an increase of +5.5% over 2006, according to figures from the China National Tourism Administration. Tourism receipts grew by +23.5%, generating more than US$41.9 billion.

For arrivals, this translates into an average annual growth rate of close to +7% since 2000 and +9.5% a year since the 2003 trough following SARS.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association forecasts continued growth in 2008 of +7% to +8%, and an increase of more than 11 million international visitors in this Olympic year.

Inbound foreigners (excluding returning residents and travellers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) numbered more than 26.1 million, an increase of +17.6% over 2006. The outbound market saw +19% growth in 2007, with close to 41 million trips. Domestic travel continued its rise in 2007, posting growth of +15.5% to reach more than 1.6 billion trips, which contributed about RMB777 billion (US$108 billion) to China’s economy, +24.7% more than in 2006.

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