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Foreigners come for Christmas in China

Santa Claus is coming to China this year in a seemingly successful promotion to attract more foreign tourists to the…

Santa Claus is coming to China this year in a seemingly successful promotion to attract more foreign tourists to the country for Christmas.



While Westerners enjoy mulled wine and mistletoe in China, many Chinese are looking to spend their traditional Spring Festival holiday abroad — particularly where the weather is warm.



In recent years, the numbers of both inbound and outbound travelers had risen as the development of trade and services brought in foreigners, while the buoyant economy made it possible for Chinese travelers to go abroad, said Martin Besse, chairman of TUI China, at the China International Tourism Mart (CITM).



China received over 72.88 million inbound travelers in the first three quarters of this year, up 10.78 percent on the corresponding period of last year. Meanwhile, over 12.29 million Chinese people traveled abroad, up 38.41 percent.



We believe many foreigners will spend their Christmas in China this year and many Chinese will spend their Spring Festival overseas, said Terje Thoresen, general manager of Scandinavian Airlines System China.



Tourism officers of established destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and France are all making pitches for the Chinese tourist dollar, reflecting the prosperous tourism trade.



More foreigners were spending Christmas in China as it became known as a safe place for global travelers, said Mikko Nirro, general manager of Finnair in China.



While northern European nation Denmark is promoting Santa Claus and snow in China, Egypt is asking Chinese travelers to experience a warm Spring Festival. Sri Lanka and South Africa have just gained the Approved Destination Status from China.



Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka not only signify China’s prosperity, but will also contribute to our local economy, said Haji Saban, tourism officer of Sri Lanka.

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