The Chinese tourism market has greatly expanded over the last few decades since the beginning of reform and opening. The emergence of a newly rich middle class and an easing of restrictions on movement by the Chinese authorities are both fuelling this travel boom.
China has become one of the world's most-watched and hottest inbound and outbound tourist markets. The world is on the cusp of a sustained Chinese tourism boom.
The China tourism market is dependent on domestic tourism due to the country's strict visa policy and group tour restrictions for travelling abroad. Domestic tourist flows are very high as compared to inbound tourist volumes. In 2012, China registered 1.6 billion domestic trips, while inbound trips were recorded at 59.4 million. China's is the world's largest domestic tourism market.
China is the third most visited country in the world. The number of overseas tourists was 55.98 million in 2010. Foreign exchange income was 45.8 billion US dollars, the worlds fourth largest in 2010. The number of domestic tourist visits totalled 1.61 billion, with a total income of 777.1 billion yuan.
But the rapid rise in tourism demand is causing some concern. Domestic experts have suggested cancelling these three "golden week" holidays, saying the nationwide breaks have brought chaos to the tourism industry. Staff at the most popular attractions now consider the huge, seasonal influxes of tourists "emergency situations," taking weeks to recover from the onslaught.
Meanwhile, there is concern that mass visitation jeopardizes the natural environment and decreases service quality at key sites. WTTC has recommended that China give workers an additional two weeks of paid vacation to help spread out the domestic tourism season and provide for a more stable and sustainable year-long industry.
According to the WTO, in 2020, China will become the largest tourist country and among the largest for overseas travel. In terms of total outbound travel spending, China is expected to be the fastest growing in the world from 2006 to 2015, jumping into the number two slot for total travel spending by 2015.
For more information on the Chinese tourism market, see the latest research: Tourism Market Research
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