Landmark Report Launched on Maximizing China’s Tourism Potential

With the world’s attention firmly on China (PRC) in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has produced a landmark report on how the country’s tourism potential can be maximised.

Endorsed by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), and sponsored by Visa, ‘Realising China’s Tourism Potential, Recommendations for Future Development’ is the first definitive international study that presents a roadmap for growth and management of the US$100bn industry.

Poised to become the world’s most popular tourist destination within a decade, mainland China stands to benefit not only from international tourist arrivals but also a massive increase in domestic tourism as the country’s economy booms.

The report, researched and written by experts across the travel and tourism industry spectrum, focuses on six key market segments, namely: Meetings and Conventions; Incentive Travel; Cruising; Red Tourism, Green Tourism; and Health&Wellness Tourism. These segments are identified in China’s 11th Five Year Tourism Plan as major pillars that will support the long-term prosperity and sustainability of travel and tourism.

With the meeting segment, for example, the report recommends that China considers the establishment of a national convention bureau, the further development of purpose-built facilities, the training of certified professional staff and increased regional co-operation.

On the fast emerging Health and Wellness tourism segment, the report highlights the opportunity for China to leverage the increasing global interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). “Proven traditional Chinese therapies have excellent potential for adoption worldwide,” it says.

“Our industry is all about partnership,” said PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong. “CNTA, Visa and PATA have formed the ultimate partnership which enabled the preparation and release of this groundbreaking report. We believe the collective knowledge and wisdom it contains will be of benefit to a broad spectrum of stakeholders and it sets a precedent for future cooperation.”

China’s travel and tourism industry has recorded staggering growth in the past two decades, and the industry is now worth more than US$100 billion a year to the Chinese economy. Inbound arrivals topped 132 million in 2007. The sector also accounts for some 90 million jobs, directly and indirectly.

PATA forecasts inbound arrivals will surpass 163 million within the next three years alone, suggesting the need for coordinated planning and development.

“While the overall statistics are undoubtedly impressive, maximising tourism potential is not just about swelling numbers, but also about environmental, cultural and economic sustainability. It’s about ensuring the tourism benefits are enjoyed by communities throughout China, in rural areas as well urban centres,” Mr de Jong added.

“Therefore, this new report is geared towards offering practical, measurable and effective solutions to the challenges that face China’s developing tourism industry. It is not just the impact of foreign inbound arrivals but also realising the incredible potential of domestic travel,” Mr de Jong said.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Mr Richard Chang, Executive Vice President of Visa International (Asia Pacific) and General Manager of Visa China , said: “Visa is pleased to sponsor PATA’s efforts to produce this timely report which provides insights into, and recommendations on, how we can work together to build an even stronger tourism industry in China. Such efforts will go a long way to help ensure continued economic growth, prosperity and employment opportunities for the industry.”

Realising China’s Tourism Potential is the latest milestone in PATA’s long-term partnership with CNTA. Last year PATA cooperated closely with CNTA to produce English language extracts and a summary report of The 11th Five-Year Plan for the China Travel Industry.

Realising China’s Tourism Potential is being published in English and Chinese, and is available from PATA by contacting

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA’s private- and public-sector members, it enhances the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region.

PATA provides leadership to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 international airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to more than 30 PATA chapters worldwide.

PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC) offers unrivalled data and insights, including Asia Pacific inbound and outbound statistics, analyses and forecasts, as well as in-depth reports on strategic tourism markets.

For more information, please visit

Please see the, ‘Detailed Backgrounder,’ for more in-depth information.
China Based Media PATA China Office (Mandarin-language interviews) Ms Kate Chang Regional Director Office: +86 10 6500 1397 Mobile: +86 13 9100 56336 Email: Mr Michael Yates (English-language interviews) Vice President Mobile: +66 89 8960464 International Media PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre Mr Oliver Martin Associate Director Office: +66 2 658 2000 extension 129 Email:

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