China’s domestic tourism sector continued to boom in 2016, as the country’s citizens took a staggering 4.44 billion trips.
The full-year total, revealed this week by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), marked an 11% increase compared to 2015. This means that, on average, every one of China’s 1.36bn citizens took almost 3.3 domestic trips each in 2016. The government has previous stated its aim to increase this to four trips per person per year.
In a positive reflection of the Chinese consumer confidence, domestic tourism revenues saw a higher rate of growth in 2016, rising 14% to CNY3.9 trillion (approx. US$563.6bn). And the country’s domestic tourism sector is expected to continue its double-digit growth in 2017, with the CNTA projecting 4.88bn trips and CNY4.4trn in revenues this year, marking year-on-year growth of 10% and 12.5% respectively.
The Chinese appetite for international travel also continued to grow in 2016, with outbound trips increasing 4.3% to 122 million. This cements the country’s position as the world’s largest source of international travellers.
Inbound trips rose 3.8% to 138m, including cross-border arrivals from Hong Kong and Macau, and the county’s tourism trade surplus increased 11.5% to US$10.2bn.
And with new tourism infrastructure, from railways and airports to hotels and theme parks, continuing to be developed across the country, China’s tourism industry is expected to continuing growing strongly in the coming years. By 2020, the sector is forecast to contribute more than 12% of China’s total GDP.