China to become world’s biggest destination

And even more Chinese travelled abroad in 2010 than visitors China received

The Great Wall of China is now a more popular travel destination than the Alps in Switzerland. And China in general has overtaken Spain to become the world’s third largest tourist destination, according to new figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. China enjoyed a 9.4% increase in arrivals in 2010, to 55.7 million. But Spain, which is still struggling with a deep financial crisis, experienced a 1% increase, to 52.2 million arrivals. At the top of the list continues to be the United States, with 78.95 million arrivals, followed by France, which had 60.88 million.
But the good news for Spain is that it attracted a larger volume of high spenders, ranking number two in the world for tourist dollars at $52.5 billion (after the USA and ahead of France and China).
Of key interest to incoming agents and destinations is the fact that more Chinese travelled abroad than foreign visitors the country received. The number of outbound Chinese travellers rose by 20% compared to 2009, reaching 57.39 million in 2010. It is predicted that China will become the world’s largest destination in the next five to seven years.
[pictured: Lobby, Beijing Sun Palace; courtesy IHG]