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Aiming for No 1 in welcoming the world

By Erik Nilsson | China Daily | Updated: 2011-02-20 08:00

China's travel industry will shift focus from the country's places to its people this year, according to a recent announcement by the China National Tourism Office (CNTO). "China Culture Tour 2011" is its theme this year and, "Travel to appreciate and experience Chinese culture" is its new slogan.

Responding to the call from the government body charged with promoting inbound tourism, travel companies have been scrambling to cultivate itineraries that go beyond visiting scenic areas to engaging the cultures that inhabit them.

China, which has long been Asia's top destination, recently overtook Spain to become the world's third most visited country, after the United States and France, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The UNWTO said last March that it expects the country to seize the top spot by 2015.

Aiming for No 1 in welcoming the world

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