China destined to rule travel world

by Alister POOLE on May 19, 2011

China might become the world’s biggest tourism nation by 2016, according at a speaker at the on-going WTTC Global Travel and Tourism Conference.

As part of his keynote speech, the Director General of the Chinese National Tourism Administration, Mr Zhu Shanzhong, told how tourism has been raised to levels of a national development strategy throughout the world’s most populated country.

Last year, China’s tourism revenue came third behind the US and France. Zhu believes that further advances will be made and that his country could become the planet’s greatest tourism nation by 2016.

At the roundtable discussion that was titled “New Global Trends”, attended by influential politicians and businessmen, a number of issues China-related issues were discussed and they covered everything from economic growth to infrastructure construction and the emerging middle-class in the country. Naturally, tourism investment and exchange rates were also brought up.

Last year, China’s tourism industry generated impressive total revenues of just over US$240 billion, which represented a year-to-year increase of at least 21.7% By 2016 Zhu said, the pace of China’s tourism is set to be further accelerated and could top US$354 billion.

Over this period, the amount of airports is going to be increased to over 230, with the mileage of railway tracks extended to a considerable 40,000km. Although generally positive about the developments being made, organisers have told how they want to have government officials around the world thinking about how the arrival of China and other emerging countries will have an impact on their national economies.

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