Beijing, China, 25 April – China’s tourism industry will be the second largest in the world within the next decade, behind the United States, a report published Tuesday by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said.
According to the WTTC report published on the Council’s Internet page, total private and public investment in the tourism sector will increase by 14 percent this year, to US$353.7 million.
For the 2007 to 2016 period, the WTTC expects growth of 8.7 percent in the sector, making the Chinese industry the second largest in the world in terms of annual growth rate.
The WTTC added that foreign tourists in China would spend US$73.5 billion in 2006, the equivalent of 7.4 percent of total Chinese exports.
This year China’s tourist industry will create 17,383 jobs, or 2.3 percent of total new jobs for the year and the sector will account for 2.9 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006.
The sector will also create 77.6 million indirect jobs, or 10.2 percent of total new jobs, the WTTC said.
The WTTC, a business forum of around 100 leaders in the world’s travel and tourism industry, recommended a number of measures to maximize the economic potential of the sector for creating jobs, such as offering two weeks of paid vacation to Chinese workers.
The council also suggested improving hotel services and air transport, an increase of the level of services provided in English as well as taking on measures for environmental conservation and contingency plans for situations of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
According to the International Tourism Organization China will be the world’s biggest tourist destination by 2020 and the fourth largest market to send tourists abroad, positions currently taken up by the united States and France. (macauhub)