UNWTO: China may surpass France as top tourist destination by 2015

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China will surpass France as the largest tourist destination by 2015, according to a senior official with the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The number of incoming tourists has been growing fast, and the country has great potential to be the No. 1 tourist destination by then, said Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the UNWTO.

China is the world’s fourth-most popular tourist destination at present. In the last ten years, the number of foreign tourists has increased from 8 million to 48 million. The number is expected to grow due to the large size of China, Rifai added.

France sees 80 million incoming tourists a year, while the U.S. and Spain, which tied for second place, see 60 million a year.