Modern tourism in China sprang
up in the early 1950s. In 1954, the China International Travel Service
was established, with 14 branches in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing
and other major cities. In 1964, the State Tourism Administration
of China was formally established. Since the initiation of the policies
of reform and opening to the outside world in 1978, China’s tourism
has entered a stage of rapid development. In 1999, the number of
tourists entering China reached 72.8 million, of which 8.43 million
were foreign tourists, 40 times the figure for 1978. Consequently,
the foreign exchange income from this industry reached US$14.1 billion,
54 times that of 1978. Currently, China has become an important
tourism destination in Asia, and the fifth large fourism country
in the world. Domestic tourism is also growing vigorously. In 1999,
the number of domestic tourists reached 719 million, spending a
total of 283.2 billion yuan—14.3 percent and 105.9 percent increases
over 1995, respectively. With the improvement of the Chinese people’s
living standards, Chinese citizens have an increasingly strong interest
in traveling abroad. In recent years, Chinese citizens have traveled
to Southeast Asia and Europe. Foreign travel agencies are now opening
offices in China to attract Chinese to travel abroad.
Now, China is fast on
its way to becoming a country with developed tourism, and constantly
improving tourism facilities and services. It is estimated that, by
2020, China will be the world’s No. 1 tourism destination and the
fourth-largest nation of tourists.
tourist in Beijing.
on Mount Taishan.