Through another 20 years of development, China will become a leading tourist country not only in Asia, but also in the world, said He Guangwei, head of China's National Tourism Administration at a luncheon in New York on September 8.
Delivering a speech entitled "China's Tourism Industry in the 21st Century," at American Express in the World Financial Center, He said he and his administration are confident that China will be one of the leading tourism countries in the world by the year 2020.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the administration, China's inbound tourists will total about 140 million annually, earnings in foreign exchange from tourism industry will reach annually to up to US$75 billion, while earnings from domestic tourism will top US$200 to 300 billion annually, he noted.
He went on to say that China's tourism trade is the most-open industry, which was one of the earliest to open up to the outside world. At present, China has opened to foreign investment in six tourism-related fields of transport, sightseeing, lodging, food, shopping and recreations.
In October 1999, China and the United States reached an agreement on China's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO). And China has ever since offered to further open up tourism services, he added.
He regarded tourist industry in China as one blessed with enormous opportunities and marketplace as well as low risks and high returns.
He Guangwei also hoped that more and more American businesspeople would participate in the future development of China's tourism industry.
He noted that the United States is one of the most developed tourism countries in the world and one of the major tourists-generating country for China, and that China is the largest tourism developing country in the world and is potentially an important tourist generating market for the United States.
"The existing friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries in the field of tourism should be further developed, " he told the audience of dozens of American entrepreneurs.