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China now second in regional tourist spending
Updated: 2005-12-09 07:08

SINGAPORE (AFP) - China has overtaken Thailand to become the second-largest destination for tourist spending in the Asia Pacific region, to Australia, credit card giant Visa International said.

Figures by Visa showed tourists in China spent 704 million US dollars on their Visa cards in the third quarter, a 29 percent year-on-year rise, the company said.

"When compared with the same period last year, tourist spending in China has exceeded that in Thailand, making it the region's second largest destination market for tourist spending," a Visa statement said.

For the quarter, total Asia Pacific tourist spending on Visa cards totalled 5.7 billion dollars, up 19 percent from a year ago, the company said.

China was behind top-place Australia which received 1.1 billion dollars in spending, Visa said.

Thailand, a popular destination with Western vacationers, slipped to third with 634 million dollars followed by Hong Kong at 519 million dollars, Singapore's 430 million dollars and then Japan at 418 million dollars.

According to Visa, tourists from the United States, Britain, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong were the biggest spenders in the region, accounting for more than half of the total Visa spending during the third quarter.

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