78 mn Chinese expected to travel abroad this year

Beijing, April 20: China is widely anticipated to overtake Germany and US to become the world’s biggest source of outbound travellers by the end of this year, an official said. About 78 million Chinese are expected to travel abroad this year.

For the last few years, China has been leading the trend and the latest figures confirm the dramatic rise of China as a source for outbound tourism, Matt Thompson, project director for the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, said here Thursday.

The China Tourism Academy put the final figures at approximately 70 million overseas trips made by Chinese in 2011, an increase of more than 20 percent from the 57.4 million trips taken in 2010, reported Xinhua.

This year, it is predicted that about 78 million Chinese will travel overseas, and the consumption generated from outbound tourism will hit a record high of $80 billion, Thompson said.

He said several factors have contributed to the growth, including the expansion of China’s middle class, increasing support from the Chinese government, the relaxation of visa application procedures and the appreciation of China’s currency.

IANS