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China maintains surplus in international tourism trade

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Chinese tourism industry has been studying and implementing key instructions made by and new ideas and strategies on national governance proposed by President Xi Jinping, and striving to advance the “Five in One” (economic development, political construction, cultural development, social development, and ecological progress) general layout and coordinate the implementation of the “Four Comprehensively” (building a comprehensive well-off society, comprehensively deepening the reform, comprehensive rule of law, and comprehensively ruling the Party strictly) strategy, and has achieved remarkable progress. China continues to enjoy surplus in international tourism trade, in terms of both the number of inbound/outbound tourists and the international tourism income/expenditure.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China’s inbound tourism market entered into a period of adjustment due to the disappearance of the “dividends of the close-door policy” and the lingering repercussion of the 2008 global financial crisis. But since the 18th CPC National Congress, thanks to concerted efforts, the fall in the inbound tourism market has been greatly eased and the international tourism income growth has kept growing. In 2013, China’s international tourism revenue registered a 3.3% growth. In 2014, signs of rebound appeared, with 128 million inbound tourists and USD 105.38 billion international tourism revenue. In 2015, China received 134 million inbound tourists, up by 4.14% from the previous year and generated international tourism income of USD 113.65 billion, up by 7.8%. In the same year, the growth in outbound tourists slowed down to 9.0%, who spent USD 104.5 billion overseas, the gap between the inbound tourists and outbound tourists approached 17 million, and the tourism trade surplus stood at USD 9.15 billion. In 2016, China received 138 million inbound tourists, up by 3.5% from the previous year, and generated USD 120 billion, up by 5.6%, compared to USD 109.8 billion by outbound tourists, with the tourism trade surplus of USD 10.2 billion. It’s noteworthy that in the same year, the growth in the inbound tourism market was 8.3%, or 28.15 million, the highest since the financial crisis; the growth of outbound tourists fell to 4.3% and inbound tourists outnumbered outbound tourists by 16.4 million. In the first half of 2017, China received 69.5 million inbound tourists and sent 62.03 million outbound tourists, with the gap of 7.47 million.

Based on the macro data, thematic survey results and comprehensive research findings, it’s safe to conclude that: China’s inbound tourism has come out of the recession following the financial crisis and is shifting gear from comprehensive restoration to continuous growth, and its outbound tourism is slowing down from high-speed growth to stable growth, so the international tourism trade surplus is expected to widen.

(China National Tourism Adminstration)


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