China will rise to become the world's top tourist destination
before 2020, Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General of the United
Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced Thursday at a
ceremony in Beijing.
During the ceremony, the cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou and Dalian
received "Top Chinese tourist city" awards from UNWTO and
the China National Tourism Administration (NTA).
According to Frangialli, China passed Italy last year to become
the world's fourth most popular destination.
Further UNWTO predictions have China nudging ahead of the US to
become the world's top tourist destination by 2020.
Inspired by national economic growth, new reforms and its
opening up, the tourism industry has expanded at a breakneck
From 1978 to 2005, the number of inbound tourists and revenues
from inbound tourism increased 66-fold and 111-fold,
China's tourism industry should furthermore set a new record
this year with revenue set to reach one trillion yuan, up ten
percent from 2006, the NTA predicted.
China earned US$33.5 billion from tourism last year, making it
the sixth highest global tourism revenue earner.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2007)