2008 News Archive - Holidays - China broadens tourist appeal
12 02 2007
China is gradually emerging as one of the world's most desirable holiday destinations, according to officials.
The Xinhua news agency reports that China was praised this week by Francesco Frangialli, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Mr Frangialli told industry experts that China has already overtaken Italy to become the world's fourth most popular destination. The stage is now set for a period of sustained growth that could make China the world's top destination by 2020.
The Xinhua report indicates that the number of tourists visiting China increased 66-fold in the 27 years from 1978 to 2005, as the country capitalised on the growing demand for holidays in Asia in general.
China's challenge to the likes of Spain and the US is aided by the fact that day-to-day living expenses are relatively cheap. While a flight from the UK may be more expensive than a trip to Spain, the affordability of the country's leading attractions is hugely appealing to many.
The climate in China contributes massively to the nature of the country's tourism industry. In Urumqi, for instance, January temperatures average at -15 degrees Celsius, while summer temperatures generally soar into the high 70s.
Temperatures climb even higher in Shanghai, which tends to remain relatively mild throughout the year.
China also boasts the Great Wall, the Yangtze River and the incredible Terracotta Army. The country's modern cities, however, rival their American counterparts for modern architecture and towering skyscrapers.