Mon Feb 18, 2019 | 18:15
China, world's 3rd-biggest tourist spot
Tue, 12 Apr 2011 07:28:36 GMT
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The Great Wall of China attracts millions of tourists every year.
A report released by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) says China is now the third most popular tourist destination in the world after France and the US.

Tourist arrivals in China climbed almost 10 percent over the past year, but their 55.66 million visitors could not outnumber the 78.95 million tourists that visited France or the 60.88 million travelers that chose the US as their destination.

According to director of international coordination department at the China National Tourism Administration Man Hongwei, the number of foreign tourists arriving in China and staying at least one night totaled 55.66 million in 2010, up 9.4 percent from 2009.

The general manager of the marketing department at the China Travel Service, Xu Daoming says the massive boost to China's tourism last year was largely due to the Shanghai Expo and the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

"The Shanghai Expo and the Asian Games in Guangzhou were major reasons for the increased momentum that moved the inbound travel market out of the shadow of the international financial crisis," China Daily quoted Xu as saying.

The Chinese official added that tourists from Taiwan, Macao, Japan, Vietnam and India have kept up the growth momentum in 2010 saying that there has also been an increase in the number of visitors coming from Russia and the US.

The WTO predicts that China will surpass France as the world's largest tourist destination by the year 2015.

Head of the National Tourism Administration of China Shao Qiwei has, however, warned about the fragile nature of the tourism industry saying that it can be easily affected by natural disasters, disease epidemic and emergencies.

China attracts millions of tourists that annually visit the country to see many ancient and historical sites, such as the Great Wall, and also get a taste of the native Chinese cuisine and its unique culture.

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