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International travel by Chinese booming

By in News on

Just 20 years ago there was only a small trickle of mainland Chinese traveling abroad. Today China is the largest source of outbound tourists in Asia, with nearly 30 million Chinese leaving the country in the first nine months of this year, according to a China National Tourism Administration spokesman speaking at the China International Travel Mart today in Kunming.

The outbound traveler figures were 17 percent higher than the same period last year, with 25.5 million Chinese leaving the country for leisure travel and 4.4 million on business. To date, 132 countries and regions have been granted approved destination status (ADS) by the Chinese government, which enables Chinese tour agencies to operate in those countries or regions.

Last year a total of 34.5 million Chinese traveled abroad - the most popular destinations were Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, the US, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

On the other side of international tourism, China received 22.2 million travelers last year, an increase of 9.6 percent over 2005. The largest sources of foreign visitors to China last year were South Korea, Japan, Russia, the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand, the UK and Australia.

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