Wang Zhifa, National Tourist Administration (NTA) deputy director, said China’s tourism market has become a magnet for international investment, raising about RMB150 billion ($21.8 billion) annually over the past few years.
He added, ‘Some high-end international tourism products have made their way into the Chinese market, such as port calls by luxury liners and booming business for limousine and yacht rentals.’
Despite this he said the country still faced great hurdles even though it was poised to become the world’s largest tourist destination by 2015.
He said the industry still lacked large companies to take a leadership position in comprehensive tourist development.
He added public service in tourism, from tourist consultation to toilets in scenic spots, had been substantially improved.
Wang said the NTA had given project approval to five-star hotels on a monthly basis, and more project applications were on the waiting list. Tianjin, for example, had a total of 45 five-star hotel projects planned between now and 2010. This would draw investment of up to RMB83.8 billion.
Last year, the country welcomed 54.7 million inbound overnight tourists putting at fourth position in the world tourism stakes.
Source: China View