China to See 10 Percent Rise in Domestic Tourism

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SHANGHAI, Oct. 5 – According to a leading Chinese tourism official, China will see a 10-percent rise in domestic tourism this year.

Speaking at a recent Pacific-Asia Travel Association (PATA) award ceremony in Hangzhou, Shao Qiwei, director of China National Tourism Administration, told state media that domestic tourists would top 1.9 billion this year, a year-on-year rise of 10 percent.

The October holiday season, this year combining China’s national day the Mid-Autumn Festival, has already seen booming numbers. The 119 tourist attractions monitored by the country’s travel authorities reported around 3.72 million tourist arrivals as of 6 pm on Sunday. About 7 million tourists are expected to visit Beijing during the holiday, a 40-percent jump from last year, and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province saw nearly 600,000 tourist arrivals, a 35.9-percent increase year on year.

Government statistics show that the number of domestic tourists in the country was 1 billion in the first six months of the year, up 11.7 percent over the same period last year.

“Domestic tourism development will sure become one of key areas for expanding domestic demands. A steady rise in domestic tourists will offset the decrease of overseas tourists to the Chinese mainland because of the global economic downturn,” Shao said.