China topped Spain and became the third most visited destination in 2010. Several factors may have contributed to this fabulous success, however, China is a destination with growing popularity and its potential is essentially limitless.
According to China National Tourism Administration, 2010 became a record-breaking year in tourist numbers. The country now takes fourth place in outbound tourists, with a whopping 57.39 million Chinese traveling abroad, a 20% increase on previous year. What many consider an ever greater success is the fact China ranked third in the world in terms of inbound visits; 55.66 million tourists visited the country last year, increasing the total by 9.4% on 2010.
Many of the visitors traveled there on business, as China’s economic power is growing massively. However, some 47% visitors came on leisure, keen to visit not only local fascinating modern cities but also intriguing cultural heritage. Most popular destinations include Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou. Shenzhen is immensely popular thanks to its advantageous location near Hong Kong.
The majority of inbound tourists come from Asia, namely Taiwan, Macao, Japan, Vietnam or India, but visitors from Russia as well as the United States are beginning to find China increasingly tempting. France and the USA are still in the lead by several million visitors, but China and the entire region has been growing by 5-10% year on year and before long, the world rankings may change completely.
Tourism experts agree that the Shanghai Expo and the Asian Games in Guangzhou have contributed to the increase and attracted millions of visitors, however, the appeal of the Chinese ancient culture is overpowering on its own and predictions for the upcoming years are more than positive.