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UN tourism body hails reopening of China for tourism

Tourists at the Great wall of China. Photo_@UNWTO

Madrid, Spain | Xinhua | The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Thursday hailed the importance of the reopening of China for tourism, given the country’s huge importance to the global tourism market.

“The reopening of China represents the ‘missing piece’ in the recovery of world tourism after the worst crisis in its history,” the UNWTO said in a press release.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, China was the world’s largest outbound tourism market. Chinese tourists made 166 million international trips, and spent 270 billion U.S. dollars, much of it in destinations in developing economies, according to UNWTO data.

Almost 3 trillion U.S. dollars in tourist revenues were lost globally between 2020 and 2022 due to the pandemic. Therefore, the organization said the lifting of Chinese travel restrictions will benefit the entire world.

Chinese citizens made 6 billion domestic trips in 2019, the UNWTO said, adding this shows that tourism is a key driver of employment and economic growth, including for rural communities in China.

The trickle-down effect of China’s reopening will also benefit other economic sectors, helping to create greater dynamism at local, national and global level, the UNWTO said.

A delegation from the UNWTO, led by Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, traveled from the Spanish capital Madrid to Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, to attend an event celebrating the reopening of China for tourism. China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping met with the delegation in Hangzhou on Friday.

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