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China's outbound travelers to rise 6% this year: consulting firm:
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The number of Chinese travelers out the mainland would rise about 6 percent this year in spite of the adverse influence of the global financial crisis, a domestic consulting firm said Sunday.

The growth rate for next year is estimated at more than 10 percent, upon an expected gradual recovery in the economy, said the Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting Co., a leading tourism consulting firm in China, especially in the country's outbound tourism market.

Chinese tourists made 45.8 million outbound trips in 2008, up 11.9 percent from 2007, as the appreciation of the yuan against most other currencies raised their purchasing power.

A 6-percent rise would translate into a total 48.55 million outbound travelers in 2009.

The firm said it expected a big increase in the number of mainland tourists to Taiwan this year, as the island was opened to mainlanders.

More than 174,000 Chinese mainland tourists visited Taiwan from July last year till early April, after the two sides agreed to allow mainland tourist groups to travel to Taiwan in June last year, according to mainland statistics.

In the first quarter alone, the number of mainland tourists to Taiwan was more than twice that during the same period last year, said the consulting firm.

The firm said it expected the number of Chinese tourists to destinations in Asia to reach 44 million people this year, a rise of around 6 percent.

It added that Japan and South Korea would continue to be favored by Chinese tourists, while stability would be an important factor affecting decisions of Chinese tourists traveling to southeast Asian countries.

The number of Chinese tourists to Europe would increase by 2 percent to 3 percent in 2009, it said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2009)

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