Tourism administration: China to lead tourism industry in five years

16:09, May 19, 2011      

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On the occasion of the Global Travel and Tourism Conference (WTTC), China has drawn great attention. The tourism industry in China has impressed the whole world, and China will be among the top tourism nations within the next five years, said Zhu Shanzhong, director general of the Chinese National Tourism Administration.

WTTC's 11th Global Travel and Tourism Summit kicked off in Las Vegas on the night of May 17. Today, a roundtable discussion on "new global trends" drew hundreds of participants, including influential politicians and businessmen.

During the talk, a number of issues related to China have been raised and evoked heated debates, such as China's economic growth, infrastructure construction in China, the Chinese middle-classes, tourism investment in China and the RMB exchange rate.

Ray LaHood, the U.S. transportation secretary, said he is impressed with the high-speed systems in Europe and Asia, and the United States is working hard to catch up.

Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association, said in these years, with an increase in the middle-class population, outbound travel in China is growing at a huge pace, driving tourism development in the United States and even the world.

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, said in order to spur tourism, the Obama administration has tightened visa regulations for Chinese and Brazilian citizens. Last year, China was one of the two countries that experienced the fastest growth in the number of tourists to the United States.

In his keynote speech, Zhu Shanzhong said tourism has been raised to the level of a national development strategy in China. Last year, China's tourism industry was revived, generating total revenue of 241.5 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 21.7 percent.

In the next five years, the pace of tourism in China will be further accelerated, with tourism revenue totaling 354 billion dollars. During this period, the number of airports will be increased to more than 230, and the mileage of high-speed rail track will grow to 40,000 kilometers.

Zhu said in an interview that every speaker at the summit mentioned China today, which means that China’s tourism development has impressed the world. Last year, China's tourism revenue was the third biggest in the world, and China will further advance as one of the greatest tourism nations within the next five years, Zhu believes.

By People's Daily Online
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