A report released by the China Tourism Academy on Monday, Dec. 7, indicated signs of a rebounding inbound tourism industry in China, according to a report by China Daily. The think tank, which operates under the China National Tourism Administration, examined the rate of inbound tourism in the country between January and October.
According to researchers, the total visits made by overseas tourists within the 10-month period went over 100 million, which reflects a 4.4-percent increase compared to last year’s data. Meanwhile, revenue earned from inbound tourism from January to October totaled to $47.4 billion, which reflects an increase of 0.9 percent–not bad for a supposedly struggling inbound tourism industry.
China’s inbound tourism industry has been in a steady decline during the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15). Although 2011 experienced a slight growth, the three following years saw continuous declines of up to 2.51 percent.
“The continuing downward trend has been contained and China will see positive growth in inbound tourist visits and expenditures by the end of this year,” said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy.
Tourists from South Korea, Vietnam and Japan are behind the rebound as they are the top three source countries of inbound tourists. Vietnamese tourists, in particular, increased by 33.6 percent in the past 10 months.
“China and Vietnam share a common culture. Vietnamese tourists are attracted by the magnificent landscape of China,” said Nguyen Thi Bich Hang, a Chinese translator based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Nguyen also adds that traveling to China is cheap–a highly attractive factor.
Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao were the primary destinations, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the recorded total inbound visits. Meanwhile, Xu Xiaolei from the China Youth Travel Service warned that the rebound is fragile and could easily be affected by other factors like political tensions.
“Some fast growth came from the close economic and diplomatic ties between China and the source countries, which could easily be affected,” said Xu in an interview with China Daily.