China beats Spain as 3rd biggest tourist destination


BEIJING, China – The financial crisis in Spain has helped China get past this European nation to become the third biggest tourist destination in the world, according to the latest figures released by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations.

The figures also reveal a curious fact about India, which fared a lot better in attracting tourist dollars than it did in luring in larger numbers of tourists. India was judged 41st in the list of top 50 tourist destinations after attracting 5.6 million foreign tourists.

But India showed it is no paradise for back-packers by taking the 16th slot among countries attracting tourist expenditure. India earned $14.2 billion coming just behind Canada. The figures show that the cost of tourism in India a lot more than several countries including China.

Spain lost the 3rd position after its tourist arrivals rose a mere 1% in 2010 to 52.2 million. This provided an opportunity to China, which pushed ahead with a 9.4% increase in arrivals reaching 55.7 million.

The numbers show Spain lost out on low budget tourists. But it attracted enough high spenders to rank No.2 in the world when it came to earning tourist dollars, which came to $52.5 billion for Spain. China ranked fourth on this score receiving $45.8 billion. The US took the top slot and France came third.

United States also continued to hold the top slop with 78.95 million tourist arrivals. The second slot is held by France with 60.88 million visitors in 2010. The other Asian country in the top 10 list is Malaysia which drew 24.6 million visitors last year.

More Chinese travelled abroad than the foreign visitors the country received. The number of outbound Chinese travelers rose 20% over 2009 reaching 57.39 million last year. Chinese tourists ranked fourth-largest worldwide last year.

The spending by outbound Chinese tourists ranked fourth-largest worldwide last year. The number of outbound travelers hit 57.39 million in 2010, which was up 20.4 percent year-on-year.