China is likely to replace the United States as the world’s third most popular tourism destination next year, a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) official said. At present, China ranks fourth, after France, Spain and the United States.
Last year, China accounted for 5.8 percent of the global tourism market, a growth of 0.3 percent compared with two years ago.
Twenty-nine percent of tourists who traveled to Asia and the Pacific last year also visited China.
Xu Jing, regional representative for Asia and the Pacific of UNWTO, said the market share percentages of China and the U.S. last year were very close.
“I am confident China will overtake the US next year,” he said at the 2007 China (Qingdao) International Olympics & Tourism Forum, which concluded on Friday.