137 million overseas tourists will visit China in 2016

Beijing – More than 137 million overseas tourists will visit China in 2016, a jump by 2.5 percent from the previous year.

This would be the second year of growth in inbound tourism after the country saw years of decline in foreign tourists since 2011.

During the annual work meeting held on Jan 29, China National Tourism Administration set its development goal of 2016. The international tourism revenue in 2016 is expected to reach $121 billion, an increase by 6.5 percent.

Earlier, China Tourism Academy, a think tank under China National Tourism Academy, also confirmed the trend. It predicted more than 138 million overseas tourist would visit China.

Li Shihong, deputy head of the administration, said second- and third-tier cities, as well as small towns including Wuzhen of Zhejiang province, Yueyang of Hunan province and Tongli of Jiangsu province will play a leading role in attracting overseas tourists , China Daily reports.

“Second- and third-tier cities and small towns have unique culture symbols, beautiful landscape and have persevered history in their daily lives better (than modern cities). All those are attractive factors to frequent visitors to China,” said Li. “Besides, the high-speed railway network has connected small towns and also made them more accessible than before. It is a great timing for them to develop inbound tourism industry.”

Tourism official vows big 2016 investment

According to Xinhua news ,  China will invest 20 percent more in its tourism industry this year than in 2015 in hope that the industry’s annual revenue will rise by 10 percent.

Investment will rise to 1.2 trillion yuan ($180 billion) and revenue to 4.55 trillion yuan, said Li Jinzao, head of the National Tourism Administration, at an industry conference recently.

Chinese are expected to make 4.38 billion trips for tourism within China this year, up 9.5 percent on 2015, and revenue from their travels will rise by 11 percent year on year to 3.8 trillion yuan, said Li.

A total of 263 million tourist trips are expected to be made by Chinese going abroad and foreigners coming into China in 2016, up 5 percent year on last year.

Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in China’s economic growth as the country is steering the economy from one led by investment to one more driven by consumption. The sector accounted for about 10.8 percent of total GDP growth and 10.2 percent of national employment last year.Source : China Daily / Xinhua