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From Overseas to Domestic Tourism,Domestic Tourism

By china tour on 6/16/2009 7:15:00 AM | China Travel News

What caused the tourism boom?
Many factors have contributed to the tourism boom, which has happened more by accident than by design.

First, the economic expansion has helped fundamentally. For example, Shenzhen, a special economic zone since 1980, has built countless new factories, requiring millions of workers, which attracted tens of millions of inland Chinese. These workers became accustomed to travel and familiar with the tourism infrastructure during their journeys between Shenzhen and their home provinces, which ultimately promoted the travel industry. Because more than 160 million rural Chinese have migrated to urbanChina in the past few decades, the magnitude of this effect has been large.
Second, the private sector has come to life, and as a byproduct, tens of millions of businessmen have needed to travel everywhere on business. In particular, small rural businessmen preferred to set up shops in major cities. The huge numbers of such people, and their adroitness at exploiting holes in the old system, made it essentially impossible to control their movements, further boosting domestic travel.
Third, the ever-increasing foreign involvement has helped tremendously. For one thing, foreign companies are given special privileges. They can hire all sorts of people from anywhere in the country. Twenty-four million Chinese now work for overseas employers, and these employees are allowed to travel anywhere.
In addition, of course, more and more overseas tourists have come to Travel China, setting new records every year. They always get preferential treatment from the service providers as well as the government, which has created an overall improvement in China's tourist industry. International involvement has helped to foster a more liberal, open environment for China in general.

Fourth, the expanding economy has given rise to income increases for average citizens. As a result, more and more Chinese have gained the financial resources to travel. A few years ago, their collective contribution to tourism revenues passed that of foreign tourists, and as time goes by, their predominance in the sector will only become greater.
Fifth, rapidly improving infrastructure as well as service quality have further helped. Only 20 years ago, traveling by air was uncommon, but today it is extremely common. There are daily flights to most sizable Chinese cities. A complete chain of tourism services now exists, ranging from tour services to hotels to a full menu of transportation options, which did not exist as recently as the 1980s.
Sixth, tourism has become an enormous source of income for local government bodies - especially in inland areas like Xian which have world-class attractions but a relatively narrow economic base - which has naturally made them compete with each other to attract even more tourists. This competition has further lifted the old barriers.
Even Beijing has employed the tourist industry for its own ends, and numerous policies favorable to the industry have gradually emerged. One very significant change came in 2000, when domestic tourism was already a major force in economic growth. At the time, China's economy had shifted from a shortage-filled one to one characterized by chronic oversupply. This demanded both greater consumption and a cut in production; one of numerous measures introduced to deal with the situation was an extension of holidays.