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Chinese visitors spur Asia-Pacific tourism

Updated: Nov 9, 2018 China Daily Print

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Singarpore is another popular destination for tourists from the country. MAO YANZHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Bali top spot gained

Statistics from the Bali Tourism Promotion Board show that Australia is no longer the top source for tourists to the Indonesian vacation destination. China, for the first time, has taken the No 1 spot. Last year, 1.09 million Australians visited Bali, down from 1.14 million in 2016. In the same period, the number of Chinese visitors rose from 987,000 to 1.39 million.

Some 3.8 million tourists from China visited Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 29.7 percent, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. In the same period, more than 11.6 million international arrivals were recorded in Vietnam, of which 32.8 percent were Chinese.

The administration said 16 to 17 million foreign visitors are expected to visit Vietnam this year, accounting for tourism revenue worth $27.5 billion.

Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, said, "Air travel is now part of everyday modern life for billions of people worldwide.

"Within the Asia-Pacific region, aviation has had a transformative influence on social and economic development, serving rapidly growing numbers of middle-class consumers."

According to a report released by the Air Transport Action Group in Geneva, Switzerland, on Oct 2, Asia-Pacific is benefiting from air connections, as more than 1.5 billion passengers travel in the region, supporting 30.2 million jobs in aviation and related industries, and 2.7 percent of the region's economic activity.

In a statement, Michael Gill, the group's executive director, said, "Let's take a step back and think about how advances in air transport have changed the way people and businesses connect with each other-the reach we have today is extraordinary."

He said Asia-Pacific has seen real benefits in embracing the role of air travel.

"Today, the region is the busiest in the world, with over a third of global passenger traffic from Asia-Pacific. Passengers in the region have taken advantage of the reduction in the price of tickets in recent decades, which enables more people to travel, see the world and do business outside of their own country.

"By 2036, aviation in the region is expected to support 44 million jobs and $1.7 trillion in economic activity," Gill said.

He said key to this growth will be the sustainable development of air transportation as part of national growth plans. This will include "improvements in infrastructure, support for sustainable aviation fuels, and helping to encourage more young women and men to think of careers in aviation".

Another country that has seen enormous growth in Chinese tourism is Japan. Before 2012, its international tourism economy was relatively small when measured as a share of GDP.

Biswas said, "Rapid growth in Chinese tourist visits helped push total international visitor numbers up from 6.8 million in 2009 to 28.7 million in 2017."

He added that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan last year rose to 7.36 million, up from 1 million in 2009.

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