World travel giants have expanded their tourist business in China, responding to the rapid development of the country’s economy and people’s rising living standards.
According to World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Frangialli Francisco, leading travel companies have begun their battle for market share in China.
China’s gross domestic product in 2000 hit US$1,000 billion, and its residents’ bank savings stand at US$846 billion, creating a chance for Chinese to become mass travelers.
The country is also encouraging its people to travel abroad. To date, the National Tourism Administration has signed free travel agreements with 15 countries, including Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and is now negotiating with the United States and European countries.
According to the China office of the Australian Tourist Commission, Australia has become a favorite spot for Chinese tourists to spend their holidays since the two countries began cooperation in travel in 1999.
Zhang Wenjia, chief director at the Beijing office of Swiss Tourism, said, ”Switzerland, a paradise on earth, is not far away from you! With the development of China and cooperation with Europe, Switzerland will become a tourist attraction for Chinese people in two or three years.”
France, Austria, and other countries and places including Hawaii have set up representative offices in China to promote travel cooperation. To date, the number has been increasing rapidly.
Statistics show that more than 10 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2000 at a cost of US$100.6 billion.
China is predicted to be the biggest travel export country in the world by 2020, which will create a new climax of tourist industry.
(china.org.cn by Shan Xingmei 06/05/2001)