Overseas travel on the rise

Updated: 2013-11-06 09:51

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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With growing wealth and a big population, the country is becoming the world's most important market for outbound travel, reports Wang Wen

Xie Jiting wasn't taking any chances.

Overseas travel on the rise

The 26-year-old administrator, who hails from Xi'an, the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, moved her vacation in Thailand to November, two months ahead of her original plan.

Xie said she wanted to beat the crowds that might rush to Thailand if a bilateral visa-exemption policy was introduced.

"I don't like the crowds at tourist sites," Xie said, even though she acknowledged that visa-free visits are convenient for solo travelers.

Xie has taken one or two overseas vacations each year since she started to work in 2007.

It's Chinese citizens like Xie who are supporting the breakneck rise of the nation's outbound tourism.

In the first three quarters of 2013, the number of outbound trips rose 18 percent to 72.55 million, according to the China Tourism Academy, a research institution under the China National Tourism Administration.

The CTA forecast the full-year number of outbound trips at 98 million.

"The number will be very close to 100 million this year, and it can be expected to break the 100-million mark in 2014," said Jiang Yiyi, director of the CTA's international tourism development division.

Chinese outbound tourism has grown by an annual average of 20 percent in recent years, driven by the nation's economic development, Jiang said.

"Nothing will stop the fast growth of outbound tourism, as long as the economy keeps growing," she said.

China remains the most important emerging economy for the global travel and tourism industry, according to the World Travel Market Industry Report for 2013, which was released on Monday.

"China is still dominating the headlines, and its economic success continues to be reflected by the level of interest from the global travel industry," said Simon Press, Reed Travel Exhibitions' director of World Travel Market. Reed Travel is a division of Reed Elsevier Plc.

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