The number of inbound tourists to China dropped in the first nine months, in which the world financial crisis may play a role, said an official of China's tourism authority on Wednesday.
"We took note the crisis has affected China's inbound tourism market," Zhu Shanzhong, head of the tourism promotion department of the National Tourism Administration, told a press conference in Shanghai.
"Relevant departments are studying the specific effects and will produce solutions."
Despite the decrease, a total of 132 million foreigners visited China during the first nine months of this year, including 54.72 million overnight visitors, Zhu said.
According to the latest statistics of the administration, China ranks the fourth in the number of inbound tourists last year, compared to the 41st place in 1978.
China reported a tourism revenue of 41.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first 9 months this year, ranking the world's fourth.
The number of people traveling from China, however, continued to grow in the first three quarters and hit a record high, Zhu said.
In September, more than 3.72 million Chinese traveled abroad, up 9.04 percent compared with the same period last year. From January to September, more than 34.39 million Chinese went overseas, up 14.80 percent.