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Continued rapid growth predicted for China’s tourism industry

A green paper issued here on Wednesday has forecasted an annual growth rate of about 10 percent for the next few years for China’s tourism industry…

A green paper issued here on Wednesday has forecasted an annual growth rate of about 10 percent for the next few years for China’s tourism industry, in spite of the global downturn in the industry.

According to the paper issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a publishing house for social science literature, the sustained growth in China’s gross domestic product is expected to further stimulate the growth of the tourism industry, and the number of domestic tourists is expected to increase by about 5 percent annually in the next few years.

By the end of 2002, some 780 million domestic tourists will have traveled within China, generating revenue of 385 billion yuan (46 billion US dollars), the paper predicted.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad will continue to record double-digit growth, with Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Japan among the most attractive destinations.

By the end of July 2002, 528 travel services had been authorized to organize tour groups to overseas destinations.

Between January and August 2002, China reported 64 million tourist arrivals from overseas, up 10 percent year-on-year, generating over 13 billion US dollars in foreign exchange revenue.

Major sources of tourists include the ROK, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Great Britain, the United States and Canada, the paper reported.

The booming tourism industry has played a vital role in increasing consumption, reducing poverty and creating job opportunities.

Statistics show that by the end of 2001, China’s tourism industry had reported total fixed assets of 779 billion yuan (93.8billion US dollars) and employed nearly 6 million people.

The China National Tourism Administration, the industrial watchdog, expects the tourism industry to provide 40 million jobs in the coming decade.

In addition, the industry has received an influx of overseas capital in the last two years, with 11 Sino-foreign travel agencies established by the end of August 2002, the green paper said.

It predicted that most local travel agencies will accelerate the pace of their restructuring next year in order to face the new challenges posed by China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

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