The duty-free products and consumers come from foreign countries. The thriving tourism industry will provide more opportunities for the duty-free industry, said Gai Zhixin, president of the China Duty-Free Group (CDFG).
According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, there were over 42 million foreign arrivals in the first half of this year, providing over 8.4 billion U.S. dollars worth of tourism revenue.
The World Tourism Organization predicted, that, by 2020, China will become the world's largest tourist destination, with over 137 million visitors. This will ensure a promising future for China's duty-free industry.
Gai said the influence of China's duty-free industry will strengthen day by day in the Asia-Pacific region.
Up to now, China has set up over 150 duty-free shops, forming a network covering 90 cities in 24 provinces. The annual sales volume surpasses 200 million U.S. dollars, ranking among the top 20 in the world.
The price of duty-free products following China's WTO accession will be equal to others in foreign countries, he said.
Meanwhile, China's methods of regulating the market, such as cracking down on smuggling, will help protect the duty-free industry and improve it.
Gai said, the duty-free outlet employees will enhance the retail level, strengthen cooperation with industry and develop chain retail companies.
(People's Daily December 13, 2001)