Officials and experts worldwide called for sustainable tourism development at world heritage sites.
China has 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which include the Great Wall and Mount Huangshan. They are the most important tourism resources in China. Across the world, there are 851 such sites.
There were 900 million transnational tourist arrivals last year, a 6.2% increase compared with 2006.
The number of international tourist arrivals might slow down because of global economic uncertainties and oil price rises but one forecast puts long term growth at 4.1%.
Shao Qiwei, China’s National Tourism Administration director, said, ‘China’s tourism has undergone rapid development over the past three decades since its reform and opening up.’
The number of overseas tourist arrivals reached 54 million in China last year, 71 times that of 1978, when the country opened its door wider to the outside world. The country’s foreign exchange revenue from tourism hit $41.9 billion, 160 times that of 1978, Shao said.
Anhui News reports China’s outbound tourists reached 40 million last year, ranking first in Asia.
Currently, as the fourth largest tourist destination in the world, China is expected to become the number one destination for overseas tourists with the number to hit 100 million by 2015.
Shao Qiwei saiid, ‘The tourism industry will hold a scientific outlook on the protection and development of the country’s world heritage.’