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Chinese tourists welcomed in foreign countries
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13:19, February 15, 2008

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On February 4, “Australia Queensland Sunshine," from the Beijing China Travel Service, opened up Chinese tourists' Spring Festival outbound tourism in 2008. During the seven days of the Spring Festival holiday, more and more people choose to travel abroad. Before the Spring Festival, in an interview with the Beijing Comfort travel agency, we were told that Hong Kong's outbound tourism packages during the Spring Festival had sold out.

International community attracts Chinese tourists

The Beijing Office of the Hong Kong Tourism Board told reporters that in the year 2007, the total amount spent by tourists in Hong Kong and per capita consumption both grew: the per capita consumption of "overnight visitors" increased by 11.5% - a breakthrough of 5,200 Hong Kong dollars; and the per capita consumption of "Immigration-day visitors" increased by 8.8% - more than 1,600 Hong Kong dollars. During Spring Festival this year, the Hong Kong Tourism Board launched "Happy Valley of Flowers" Tours that combined shopping, entertainment, sightseeing and China New Year elements into one, in order to attract more mainland tourists.

Chinese tourists are welcomed to destinations all across the globe. The tourism boards of Scandinavia, France, Spain, Hungary, Finland, Egypt, South Korea, Japan and region of Hong Kong, have told reporters that China is an emerging market; and that they were seeking to attract Chinese tourists by offering Chinese tourist services.

Japan's annual "Yokoso! Japan Weeks" campaign kicked off, and lasted about a month during China's Spring Festival. Japan prepared various activities with traditional Chinese characteristics.

According to the AC Nielsen survey, Chinese people spent an average of 1,500 euros in stores during the European Tour; and the purchasing power of Chinese tourists is becoming stronger. According to international group shopping rebate statistics, in 2007, China's total tourist expenses in Finland ranked second only to Russia, and more than the United States and Japan.

Chinese tourists received positive evaluation

The quality of Chinese citizens' outbound tourism is rising. Chinese Foreign Ministry Consular Secretary Wei Wei told reporters that last year we had established the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Protection Center, geared at securing the safety of Chinese citizens going abroad. Citizens can get telephone or online advice from the center. The head of the National Holiday Office and the State Tourism Bureau, Li Renzhi, said that the Central Office for Promoting Spiritual Civilization and the National Tourism Administration formulated and implemented a plan to improve Chinese tourist behavior abroad, and will distribute information and manuals to tourists free of charge.

Chinese tourists have earned a good reputation in some countries. The Scandinavian Tourist Board reported that the quality of Chinese tourists is good: they tended to be more international; the tourists' standards of English have improved; and the local Tourism Board warmly welcomes Chinese tourists.

In addition, the means of outbound Chinese tourism is also changing quietly. At present, leisure tourism has become a new form for Chinese travelers. There are a growing number of outbound tourists who choose a country, a region or island as a destination; and spend leisure and carefree holidays there. For instance, they travel to French villages, the Germany Rhine River area, or on Thai resort island tours.

The Tourist Office of the Embassy of Spain said that Chinese tourists were previously concentrated in the capital and major cities; but now more look to smaller places and small cities with more prominent local characteristics.

The Spanish Embassy's Tourism Office said that in the last two years, Spain has paid great attention to China: the new market for tourism. There are many areas that provide Chinese propaganda, Chinese websites, and hotels have added Chinese annotation. They have also encouraged professional tour guides to learn Chinese, and train local Chinese students as tour guides.

Egypt's Tourism Bureau revealed that there were over 10 million tourists from China last year; and Egypt has become one of the 10 destinations for China's emerging outbound tourism market. They will focus on launching high-end tourism and leisure programs to Chinese tourists this year.

China will lead the Asia-Pacific outbound travel market
According to the State Tourism Bureau, China has now opened to 134 tourist destination countries and regions. In 2007, China's outbound tourism amounted to 41 million people, an increase of nearly 7 million people over 2006. China will continue to maintain its status as Asia's largest outbound tourist country. This year, the number of outbound tourists is expected to increase by 10 percent, reaching 45 million.

As predicted by the World Tourism Organization, by 2015, China will become the country receiving the most tourists, the fourth largest tourist source country and the world's largest domestic tourism market. By then, China's outbound tourism will reach 100 million people.

MasterCard International recently released a tourism forecast saying that the Chinese mainland will lead the Asia-Pacific outbound travel market. In terms of outbound tourism in the Asia-Pacific region, it is predicted that in the next six months 79.5 million people will go abroad, 1/4 of which will come from the Chinese mainland. MasterCard International pointed out that in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the number of middle-class families is on the rise, and it will continue to affect tourism trends in 2008 and in the future.

By People's Daily Online

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