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China to be 2nd biggest tourist nation

China will become the second largest tourism economy in the world in a decade, according to a WTTC forecast.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 12:07 IST

China will become the second largest tourism economy in the world in a decade, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast.

China's consumption and investment in the tourism industry will grow by 14 per cent year on year to 2.77 trillion yuan ($346.3 billion) in 2006.

With a projected annual growth of 8.7 per cent from 2007 to 2016, China is expected to boast the second highest growth in tourism demand in the world, Xinhua news agency quoted the WTTC report as saying.

The China National Tourism Administration figures show China hosted 120 million in bound visitors last year. The number is expected to grow by eight per cent in the next five years and the country is expected to receive some 137 million visitors by 2019 to become the world's biggest inbound tourism nation.

Safety was considered one of the most important reasons for China's attraction to foreign tourists, a researcher with the Tourism Research Centre of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Wei Xiaoan said.

The booming Chinese economy was attracting growing numbers of conferences, he said.

China has also become one of the largest tourism sources for the international industry.

Chinese made 31 million trips abroad last year and the figure is expected to grow by 10 per cent this year.

Many countries have instituted preferential policies to attract Chinese tourists. Russia began offering visa-free entry to Chinese tourists in April.