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China’s outbound, domestic tourism on the rise

(People's Daily Online)    17:02, March 23, 2018

An increasing number of outbound tourists have been a major feature of China’s tourism trends, noted Premier Li Keqiang at a recent press conference on Mar. 20.

Chinese tourists spent an average of 5,800 yuan on outbound travel in 2017, up 7 percent over from previous year according to a report co-released by China Tourism Academy and Ctrip, a domestic online travel service provider.

Five years ago, the State Council called for actions to streamline administration and delegate power to lower levels. Public security departments later issued new policies to facilitate entry and exit procedures, such as a three-in-one application form and online appointment service.

These policies have brought great convenience to Chinese nationals and boosted outbound travel and shopping. The number of tourists who traveled abroad increased to about 130 million in 2017, almost doubling the 2012 figure, noted Premier Li.

By 2021, Chinese travelers will spend over $429 billion overseas each year, as CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets forecast. In addition, the UN World Tourism Organization statistics demonstrate that over half of the outbound travel consumption comes from China.

Outbound tourism is gradually expanding with the progress of the Belt and Road initiative, and Ctrip will benefit from this trend for sure, said Liang Jianzhang, co-founder of the company.

Global tourism revenue reached $5.3 trillion in 2017, accounting for 6.7 percent of the global GDP, quoting the 2018 world tourism forecast report. Liang believed that tourism is expected to occupy a higher percentage and become one of the largest contributors to global economic growth.

An expert said that as an emerging industry, tourism remains a significant driving force for consumption upgrades and will further advance the development of the whole industry.

Domestic traveling consumption will play a critical role in China’s economic rise as long as the government sticks to its tax reduction measures and keeps streamlining administration, said Wu Bihu, director of the Center for Recreation and Tourism Research at Peking University.

China’s top legislature recently approved the state institutional reform plan and decided to form a ministry focused on culture and tourism. Many enterprises are swarming into cultural tourism and developing theme resorts and distinctive towns.

An integrated development of culture and tourism will satisfy travel demands and also cure growing pains that can be found within cultural tourism development initiatives, Hong Qinghua, the founder of lvmama.com, an online travel service website, told China Youth Online.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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