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Thailand becomes most popular Belt and Road travel destination: report

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Online)    16:17, September 29, 2017

Tourism in Belt and Road countries sees rising popularity, and Chinese tourists favor Thailand the most, while Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal saw the most rapid growth, a new report found.

The report, compiled by People’s Daily Online, China Tourism Academy, and a cultural and entertainment company under Alibaba, was released at the Belt and Road Culture and Tourism Development Forum in Beijing on Friday.

(People's Daily Online, Alibaba, China Tourism Academy on Friday unveil the report in Beijing.)

Du Jiang, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration, announced at the forum that the total tourism value of countries included in the Belt and Road Initiative made up an estimated 70 percent of the global tourism industry. Trips between China and countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt alone have topped 25 million.

Chinese tourists are most interested in Thailand, Russia, and Indonesia, while trips to Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam outnumber trips to other Belt and Road countries. Meanwhile, trips made from Belt and Road countries to China saw a 39 percent increase, compared with 2016.

As for the growth rate of tourists, Montenegro saw the highest increase. Trips booked through Fliggy, an online travel platform by Alibaba, to Montenegro was 58 times higher compared to last year, the report added.

Specifically, Slovakia saw the highest per capita tourist consumption, followed by the Maldives and Hungary.

Du called on Belt and Road countries and cities to bring more development opportunities through the initiative.

“Tourism is the best way to connect more people. We hope to use tourism to strengthen people-to-people and culture-to-culture exchanges within countries along the Belt and Road, which can serve as a bridge of friendship and cooperation,” Du said.

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(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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