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China National Tourism Administration

Chinese able to travel to 100 overseas destinations

The number of countries and regions granting China Approved Destination Status (ADS) will reach…

The number of countries and regions granting China Approved Destination Status (ADS) will reach 100 at the end of 2005, announced a senior Chinese tourist official.

As more and more foreign countries become approved tourist destinations, China`s outbound tourism market is expected to grow dramatically, said Gu Zhaoxi, vice-chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), at the 54th Annual Conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

China opened outbound travel in 1997, when 5.32 million people made their trips overseas. By April 1 this year, China has already acquired ADS with 64 countries and regions, with 30 in Europe, 18 in Asia, 10 in Africa, three in Oceania and one in America, said Gu in a presentation at the conference.

He said that the signing of ADS agreements will gather speed this year to meet the market expectations both at home and abroad. The number is expected to increase to 100 by the yearend.

According to the CNTA statistics, the number of outbound tourists from China reached 28.85 million in 2004, and amounted to 4.9 million in the first two months of this year, up 11.6 percent year-on-year.

Speaking at the PATA conference, Yao Yuecan, executive vice president of the Head Office of the China International Travel Service, said that overseas traveling has become a phenomenon in China due to a rising population of affluence, and more importantly, more countries and regions in the world have opened their travel markets to China.

According to statistics with the World Tourist Organization (WTO), Chinese outbound tourists contributed 15.4 billion US dollars in tourist spending globally in the year 2002, up 11 percent over the previous year and ranking the 7th in the world.

Yao said that in addition to required tourist consumption on their travel, Chinese tourists spend heavily on purchasing during trips to developed countries such as Switzerland and Australia. His travel agencies witnessed that each Chinese spends 175 US dollars on average in shopping for souvenirs and other things per day.