Zhu Shanzhong, director of the marketing and communications department of the China National Tourism Administration, said in Shanghai that CNTA has proposed a national leisure program to encourage more Chinese citizens to participate in domestic tours and to promote the Chinese tourism market.
The latest statistics indicate that in 2007, China's total tourism revenue was USD150 billion, and the numbers of domestic, inbound and outbound tourists hit new highs. For the whole of 2007, the number of domestic tourists in China was 1.61 billion, and domestic tourism revenue reached RMB777.1 billion. In 2007 China hosted a total of 132 million inbound tourists including 54.72 million arrivals who stayed at least one night in the country, and China's foreign exchange revenue increased to USD41.9 billion, ranking it fourth place around the world.
According to a forecast from the World Tourism Organization, by 2015 China will be the largest tourism hospitality country, the fourth largest tourist source market, and the country with the largest domestic tourist market in the world. By that time, the number of international arrivals who stay in China for at least one night will be 100 million, and domestic tourists will number 2.8 billion. The number of Chinese outbound tourists will reach 100 million.
For the first nine months of this year, the number of inbound tourists in China decreased. Zhu said that because of the impact the global financial crisis is having on the tourism market, the China International Travel Mart 2008 held in Shanghai is a significant event for the Chinese travel trade because it will offer more opportunities for suppliers to make deals.