The number of international tourists visiting China has continued to fall in 2013.
According to the latest data from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), reported by Xinhua, the country received 22.93 million international arrivals in the January-May 2013 period, down 4.1% compared to the same period last year. This follows a 1.5% decline in arrivals to China in 2012.
But despite this decline, China remains buoyed by the strength of its domestic market. According to the CNTA data, 998m domestic trips were taken in mainland China in the January-May 2013 period, up 14.1% year-on-year. Domestic tourism revenues grew even faster, jumping 18.4% to CNY765.7 billion (US$123.7bn).
And Chinese continued to travel overseas in increasing numbers. The number of outbound travellers from mainland China reached 37.92m in the first five months this year, up 17.3% compared with the same period in 2012.
China is already the world’s largest domestic tourism market and the world’s biggest outbound tourism spenders. The country is also taking steps to boost inbound market, including offering three-day visa-free stays for transit tourists in key cities. And the deputy director of the CNTA, Zhu Shanzhong, said China would undertake more promotions key markets in the second half of the year, in an effort to boost inbound numbers.