China ranked fifth in overseas tourist arrivals in 2001, hitting 33.2 million, up 6.2 percent from 2000, according to the latest statistics released by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
The statistics also show that China's international tourism income reached 17.8 billion US dollars in 2001, up 9.7 percent from 2000. China has, for the first time, surpassed Britain and Germany, ranking fifth in profits from tourism.
Meanwhile, China's domestic tourism has remained robust since the mid-1980's. By the end of 2001, the total number of domestic tourists reached 784 million, up 5.3 percent from the year before.And domestic tourism income exceeded 352.2 billion yuan (42.4 billion US dollars), up 10.9 percent from 2000.
China's outbound tourism also saw great progress. The year 2001 saw the number of outbound tourists reaching 12.13 million, up 15.9 percent from 2000.
The State Council has approved 22 countries and regions to be tourism destinations for Chinese citizens, making China the biggest source of tourists in Asia.
The WTO predicts that by 2020, China will be the world's number-one tourism destination and the fourth major source of tourists.
Sources from the National Tourism Administration said China boasts very rich tourism resources. This, coupled with the continued development of China's economy and the improvement in the Chinese standard of living, will render the country's tourism market even more prosperous and promising.