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UNWTO chief highlights China's role in international tourism growth

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-17 14:05
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MADRID - Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), highlighted the role China has played in the continued growth of international tourism, at a meeting with the press on Friday.

"Travel and tourism is now a way of life and nothing is going to stop it," explained Rifai at the meeting here in the UNWTO office, adding "the Chinese market has a major role in this."

The first 10 months of this year has seen a growth of 7 percent in the number of international travelers. Up to 1.3 billion people could visit other countries in 2017. It has also seen China as the major source market for world tourism.

With Southeast Asia and Asia as a whole seeing a rise of between 8 and 10 percent in the number of international traveler arrivals this year, Rifai highlighted the role of the continued growth in the number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad. According to the organization, the first 10 months of 2017 saw a 15 percent increase in the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad.

"That is going to have a big effect... China is very important, but it is not the only expanding market," said Rifai who also highlighted the 27 and 33 percent growth in the number of tourists from Russia and Brazil.

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