Business / Industries

China's inbound tourism rebounding

By SU ZHOU ( Updated: 2015-11-18 22:48

China's inbound tourism has rebounded this year and it's possible it will achieve the overall goal set by the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011-15), said a tourism expert.

"The continuing downward trend of inbound tourism has been contained, and China will see positive growth both in inbound tourist visits and expenditures by the end of this year," said Dai Bin, director of the China Tourism Academy, a think tank under the China National Tourism Administration.

Dai said China's inbound tourism industry has faced many challenges after the financial crisis.

"The ability of some countries' tourists to consume is still not as strong as before," said Dai. "Besides, China is facing a more competitive global tourism market now. Other countries are making efforts to attract tourists by removing visa barriers and providing diversified tourism products."

Even so, China has seen growth in visits by foreign tourists. According to the China National Tourism Administration, visits by foreign tourists from 2008 to 2014 enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 1.21 percent to 26.36 million.

"And this is thanks to the efforts of tourism authorities, as well as travel service providers," Dai said. "China tourism authorities have enhanced their promotions internationally, introduced favorable visa polices and regulated the tourism market to provide a friendly environment for overseas visitors."

Dai said, he was optimistic about the development of inbound tourism in the coming five years.

"Tourism in China — inbound, outbound and domestic — is approaching a golden period of development," Dai said. "First, China, as home to many world cultural and natural heritage sites, has a very strong base for development. In the past 35 years, many scenic spots, including the Palace Museum, Great Wall and Terracotta Army, have an established reputation among overseas tourists."

"Second, tourism is a pillar industry in China's economy. From the central level to the local level of government, great importance has been attached to inbound tourism development," Dai said. "After decades of development, we also have mature market players to provide medium-range and high-end tourism products for overseas tourists, not to mention the opportunities brought by strategies and global cooperation such as the Belt and Road Initiative."

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