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Tourism in China
2004-10-27

Modern tourism in China sprang up in the early 1950s. In 1954, the China International Travel Service was established, with 14 branches in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and other major cities. In 1964, the State Tourism Administration of China was formally established. Since the initiation of the policies of reform and opening to the outside world in 1978, tourism in China has entered a stage of rapid development. In recent years, domestic tourism has been developing fast and international tourism has maintained the momentum of steady growth. In 1999, there were 6070 domestic travel agencies, 1256 international travel agencies and 7035 tourist hotels. In 2001, Foreign exchange earnings from overseas tourists reached US$17.8 billion, up 9.7% over the previous year. Earnings from domestic tourism stood at 352.2 billion yuan, up 10.9 percent. The general income of tourism in 2001 amounted to 499.5 billion yuan, up 10.5 % over 2000. In 2001, the number of domestic tourists reached 780 million, up 5.3 % over the previous year. China received 89.01 million tourists from overseas, up 6.7 percent over the previous year. A total of 12.13 million Chinese went abroad in 2001, up 15.9 percent over the year 2000, including 6.94 million going overseas on private purposes, up 23.3 percent.

With the improvement of the Chinese people's living standards, Chinese citizens have an increasingly strong interest in traveling abroad. In recent years, Chinese citizens have traveled to Southeast Asia, Europe, South Asia and rest part of the World. Foreign travel agencies are opening office in China to attract Chinese to travel abroad.

It's estimated that, by 2020, China will become the world's No. 1 destination and the 4th-largest nation of tourists.

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