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100 Overseas Destinations Open by 2006

The number of countries granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by the government will reach 100 by the end of 2005, announced a senior tourism official at an ongoing travel conference in Macao on Tuesday.
"As more countries become approved tourist destinations the outbound tourism market is expected to grow dramatically," said Gu Zhaoxi, vice-chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) at the 54th Annual Conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
China opened outbound travel in 1997, when 5.32 million people made trips overseas. By April 1 this year, 64 ADS agreements had been established; 30 in Europe, 18 in Asia, 10 in Africa, three in Oceania, one in America and Hong Kong and Macao, said Gu in his presentation.
He said the signing of ADS agreements will gather speed this year to meet market expectations both at home and abroad.
According to the CNTA, the number of outbound tourists reached 28.85 million in 2004, and 4.9 million in the first two months of this year, up 11.6 percent year-on-year.
Yao Yuecan, executive vice president of China International Travel Service's Head Office, said that travel overseas has increased due to rising affluence and the opening up of travel markets.

The Beijing International Travel and Tourism Market said that, by the end of last year, outbound tourists' travel spending surpassed US$16 billion.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2005)

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