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China to Further Open Tourism Market

XIAMEN, September 11 -- The Chinese government will further open tourism sector and lessen restrictions on foreign travel agencies' entry into the nation's huge tourism market, according to a senior tourism official.

Wang Chaoyao, senior official with the National Tourism Administration, said Monday at a tourism seminar here that China will not only open its tourism market, but also focus on advanced management concepts, technologies and personnel from abroad.

To date, China has approved establishment of eight Sino-foreign co-funded travel agencies, and many international famous hotel management groups are engaged in hotel management in China.

Statistics show that Chinese citizens made 10 million departures to travel abroad in 2000, up 13.4 percent from the year before, indicating that China has become a major source of international tourists.

Wang said China's tourism industry is facing historical opportunities as China is going to join the World Trade Organization and host the Olympic Games in 2008.

Last year, China received 83.44 million arrivals of overseas tourists, raking in tourism revenues totaling 16.2 billion US dollars, ranking fifth and seventh respectively in the world.

China will become the world top country of destination for international tourists and the fourth largest country in terms of people traveling abroad in 2020, according to the World Tourism Organization.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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