China's spending on industry to surge to $1.22t by 2020

Updated: 2016-05-19 08:47

By Dong Jidong(China Daily)

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Chinese expenditure on tourism is expected to reach 8 trillion yuan ($1.22 trillion) by 2020, contributing more than 10 percent of the growth in the country's GDP, according to a report about the country's tourism development.

About 160 million foreign travelers will visit the country annually, generating tourism revenue of more than $160 billion, said the China Tourism Development Report, which was released by the China National Tourism Administration.

China's tourism industry has experienced rapid development since the late 1970s, when the country started its reform and opening-up, said Li Jinzao, chairman of the administration, earlier this month.

The industry's contribution to the country's GDP has exceeded 10 percent, Li said, citing statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council and the State Information Center.

China ranks atop the world in domestic tourist trips, outbound trips and tourism consumption, he said.

The tourism development report was released ahead of the First World Conference on Tourism for Development being held in Beijing from Wednesday through Saturday.

More than 140 countries and regions, industry experts and representatives of international and regional organizations are attending the event.

The development of China's tourism industry is closely associated with the country's economic growth over the past decades, according to the tourism development report.

The number of annual domestic trips has increased from 200 million in 1984 to 4.1 billion last year, an average annual growth of 10.2 percent, statistics show.

Domestic tourism revenue has increased from about 8 billion yuan in 1985 to more than 3.42 trillion yuan last year, an average annual growth of 22.4 percent, according to statistics.

Meanwhile, China has become a major tourism power in the world with regard to the size of its outbound and inbound tourism.

As a major source of tourists in the world, the country's outbound tourism has developed rapidly since 2000.

In 2014, the number of outbound trips made by residents on the Chinese mainland exceeded 100 million. The number stood at 120 million last year, a marked surge compared with 2.98 million in 1992, according to government statistics.

China is also the fourth-largest country for inbound tourism. The number of inbound tourist trips has increased from 1.8 million in 1978 to 130 million last year.

The revenue generated by inbound tourism has increased from $263 million to $113.65 billion during the same period.

Moreover, the booming tourism industry has played an increasingly important role in promoting the country's economic development.

By the end of last year, there were more than 27,300 travel agencies around the country, compared with 7,355 in 1999.

The tourism industry contributed 10.1 percent to the country's GDP in 2015, outnumbering other industries including education, banking and automobile, according to estimates by World Travel and Tourism Council.

The added value of the tourism industry totaled 7.11 trillion yuan, accounting for 10.5 percent of the national GDP, compared with 9.4 percent in 2012, according to the State Information Center.

Some 79.11 million people worked in tourism or related sectors in China last year, accounting for 10.2 percent of the country's total working population, and has greatly helped with employment of surplus rural laborers as more than 60 percent of employees in the industry are from rural areas, according to statistics.

As a sector of the service industry, tourism is also an important source of growth in supply-side reform, which was initiated by the government last year, Li said.

The government should promote the integrated development of tourism and other industries and build an industrial mechanism to improve the quality and quantity of tourism products, which is in strong demand from consumers, he said.

(China Daily 05/19/2016 page6)