China Emerging as an Important Tourist Generating Country
On September first, Chinese travelers will have official authorization from their government to travel to many new European countries. Over all, 32 new destinations will receive Chinese travel groups amongst which there are Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Rumania. Each of the 32 countries has been granted as “Approved destination Status” by the Chinese authorities. That will add the list up to 55 countries that can be visited by Chinese travelers. With more than 20 million Chinese going abroad in 2003 the country has surpassed its Asian neighbor Japan for the first time in history for the number of outbound travelers per year. The number of Chinese tourists going oversea went up 13.87% per year between 1994 and 2003. As of the first 5 months this year, the Chinese has made 11.17 million outbound trips, up by 58.9% over the same period of 2002 and 81.6% over the same period last year.
The living standard of China’s people has prominently improved in pace with the economic and social development. Because of the following reasons, China has been merging as an important tourist generating country, with the most rapid progress in the whole world.
¨ In 2003, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) totaled RMB 11,670 billion yuan (about US$1,410 billion), a 9.1% increase over last year;
¨ Per capita GDP surpassed US$ 1,000 for the first time;
¨ National foreign exchange reserve totaled US$ 403.3 billion, increased by 40.8% compared with last year;
¨ Individual foreign exchange reserve exceeded US$ 90 billion;
According to the World Tourism Organization, China has been ranked among the world’s 10 most advanced countries in terms of outbound tourism expenditure. Over the last ten years of 1994-2003, China’s outbound tourists made 100 million trips, increased by an average of 13.87% a year.
The immense China outbound tourism has drawn attention from all over the world; makes it a new highlight and a vital force for China’s diplomatic relations. The Chinese tourists have gone abroad to promote China’s overall development in all the aspects such as economic progress, international trade and cultural exchange. As a result, not only the impetus can be gained for expanding inbound tourism and consummating the industry structure, but the two-way business cooperation and professional interaction can be greatly enhanced too.