Spurred by booming inbound tourism, sale of duty-free goods in China rose 21 percentyear-on-yearto 460 million U.S. dollars last year, according official statistics.
The growth rate is much higher than the global average of 4 percent, said Li Gang, General Manager of China Duty Free Group, a company authorized by the government to manage the industry in China.
China's sale of duty-free goods to overseas tourists, diplomats and sailors are expected to reach 680 million U.S. dollars in 2008 and around 900 million U.S. dollars in 2010, according to Raven Fox, a global leading survey institution in this sector.
The fast-expanding tourism industry and the coming 2008 Olympic Games are the main drivers in the development of the industry, Raven Fox said.
Cigarette and alcohol sales accounted for 81 percent of the Chinese duty-free market, compared with the world level of less than 30 percent.
China set up its first duty-free shop in 1979 and now has more than 150 such shops, said Li.