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Overseas travel grows during China's 'golden week'
Updated: 2014-10-09

Chinese tourism and civil aviation authorities said on Wednesday that overseas travel grew among Chinese vacationers during last week's National Day Holiday.

The National Tourism Administration (NTA) said that travel to overseas destinations rose during the seven-day National Day Holiday that ended on Oct. 7 as a result of visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies offered by a rising number of countries to Chinese citizens.

China's Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan as well as Southeast Asia were the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists, while the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan were the countries receiving the most Chinese visitors during the holiday, according to the NTA.

Overall data for outbound travel during the seven-day period has yet to be published by the government agency, but preliminary data showed that travellers from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong hit nearly 970,000 during Oct.1-6, up 5.4 percent year on year. Travellers to Macao reached 752,400, up 16.5 percent, while mainland travellers to Taiwan surged more than 50 percent to 26,700.

In contrast, the 124 surveyed domestic scenic spots received a total of 31.69 million tourists, up only 3.8 percent, while Chinese spending on tickets at scenic sites dropped 2.43 percent year on year to 1.6 billion yuan (260.2 million U.S. dollars).

The Civil Aviation Administration of China also noted the increase in overseas travel as a new holiday aviation trend.

China Southern Airlines, the country's largest airline company, said that the number of passengers to overseas destinations surged 20 percent year on year during the holiday, compared to a 4-percent rise at home.

NTA data showed domestic travelers during the first half of the year totalled 62.31 million, down 2.8 percent.

The China Tourism Academy forecast last month that China's tourism deficit will exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars this year. It predicted that around 116 million Chinese will travel and spend 155 billion U.S. dollars overseas in 2014, up 20 percent from a year ago.