BEIJING, China – China and Russia exchanged more than 3.3 million tourists in 2011, serving as important sources of tourists to each other, China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said Saturday.
Shao Qiwei, director of the CNTA, said the 2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year launched on Thursday represents the friendly strategic partnership between the two countries, and the partnership will be further enhanced by improving bilateral tourism cooperation.
China has decided to develop tourism into a strategic pillar of its national economy as well as a more satisfying modern service industry, Shao said.
From January to November 2011, 52.74 million tourists spending at least one night in China entered the country, marking year-on-year growth of 3.2 percent. Meanwhile, 63.85 million tourist trips were made by Chinese going abroad, showing a 22.4-percent year-on-year rise.
Chinese people are expected to have made 2.64 billion domestic trips in 2011, 13 percent more than the previous year, and income generated by tourism will show a 20-percent increase over 2010, Shao said.
The 2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year promotes happy and healthy tourism to meet ever-increasing public demand, according to the CNTA.