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China's tourism market set to be No. 2 globally
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China is expected to become the world's second-largest travel and tourism market in terms of total demand and foreign visitor numbers in the next 10 years, according to a latest research report.


The research, which was jointly conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council and a leading international consulting firm Accenture, was released after the WTTC International Conference held in the city yesterday.


The travel and tourism industry in China generated a total of 3.37 trillion yuan (US$461 billion) of economic activity last year, 13.3 percent higher than the figure of 2006.


That made China No. 4 after the United States, Japan and Germany in world's tourism demand. But the demand growth surpassed that of neighboring countries and regions to top the growth rate in Asia.


The report said that the amount spent on the country's travel and tourism was expected to grow by 9.6 percent per annum in the next decade, pushing the country's total amount to about 10.99 trillion yuan by 2017.


"Travel and tourism is an important industry... we can see China will play a key role in the global travel and tourism industry soon," Patrick Leung, executive partner of Accenture, said at yesterday's conference.


The research suggested that employment in China's travel and tourism economy was estimated at 72.48 million jobs last year, accounting for 9.4 percent of total employment.


That means one out of every 10.6 employees works in the hospitality industry.


The report suggested that the employment is estimated to total 75.71 million jobs by 2017.


However, a lack of high-level professionals will be a key barrier against growth in the tourism and hospitality industry, analysts said at yesterday's conference.


(Shanghai Daily January 17, 2008)

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