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China is very rich in tourism resources, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists every year to its beautiful mountains, rivers, springs and waterfalls, its rich and varied folk customs, handsome old buildings, scenic spots and historical sites too many to count, to its rare flora and fauna, inimitable opera, music and dance, to its world-famous cuisine.
Traditional Chinese wedding in a Beijing courtyard residence for a Chinese bride and her foreign groom
Today, China has one of the largest domestic tourism markets in the world with the highest rate of growth. In 2006, the number of incoming tourists reached 124.94 million person-times, making China the fourth largest receiving country in the world; foreign exchange revenue from tourism rose to US$33.95 billion, ranking sixth in the world.
China's outbound tourism is the fastest growing of any emerging tourist source in the world and China is Asia's leading source country for outbound tourism. In 2006, the number of outbound tourists reached 34.52 million person-times. So far, China has approved 132 countries and regions as tourist destinations for Chinese citizens traveling at their own expense; of these, 86, including more than 30 European countries, can be reached.
The average consumption expenditure of Chinese citizens traveling abroad has become one of the highest in the world. According to the statistics of China Travel Monitor under the IPK International, the average daily expenses of a Chinese tourist in one long holiday is US$175, (excluding purchases); a German Chamber of Commerce survey shows that Chinese tourist in Germany has average daily expenses of US$110, second only to an American tourist's US$117; the Swiss Information Network puts the figure for Switzerland at US$313, the highest for any source country.
The World Tourism Organization predicts that by 2020 China will become the world's top tourist destination, and fourth in outbound tourist numbers, with 100 million Chinese nationals traveling abroad every year.
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