Although China received 93.94 million overseas tourists in the first three quarters of the year, this was down 3.45% from the same period in 2008.
The small 3.45% drop in tourism in the first nine months of this year was explained away by Li Kezhi, director of the tourism promotion and international cooperation department of the National Tourism Administration.
He blamed: "The global financial crisis and the spreading A/H1N1 flu jointly affected the sector."
China Daily reports Li Kezhi said China’s tourism market is expected to recover along with the improving economic situation and the upcoming Shanghai World Expo.
Compared with the decline in the number of overseas tourists, Li said Chinese people made 1.43 billion domestic tours and 35 million overseas visits during the period, up 9.4% and 1.9% respectively.