Many Chinese are again planning to travel abroad during the National Day holidays. In the past, an outbound trip was a luxury that few could afford. But that has changed over the past few decades as the country has grown more prosperous.
Outbound travel to Hong Kong began in 1983 when the Chinese government first allowed people to participate in organized journeys to visit their friends and relatives in the region.
Along with improvements in their living standards, the Chinese have developed a strong interest in traveling, and domestic tourism is also growing vigorously.
In the 1990s, the Chinese government introduced an annual holiday practice. Every employee had an opportunity to take seven to 15 vacation days a year. More spare time boosted domestic travel as well as outbound tourism.
China’s transportation system has developed along with the tourism industry. China now has over 1,120 domestic and international air routes.
About 20 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2003. Four years later, the number doubled to nearly 41 million.
The rate of increase was amazing even for the global tourism industry, which has grown by 4% annually in the past few years.
CRI.CN reports that Xu Jing, Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific at the World Tourism Organization, said while praising the development of China’s tourism industry, "If we look at the Chinese tourism industry from an international angle, the most important point is the incredible development of Chinese outbound tourism. It has already made changes to the marketing system and business model of some Asian destinations, and it surely will have a vital influence on the global tourism industry."