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In 2008 China recorded a total tourism revenue of approximately US$169.5 billion, a 5.8% year-on-year increase according to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

This tourism revenue includes US$127.9 billion generated from domestic travellers and US$41.6 billion from international travellers, compared to US$113.6 billion and US$45.8 billion, respectively, in 2007. The figures revealed that domestic tourism is still sustainable while inbound tourism has declined amid the global economic downturn.

In 2008, China welcomed approximately 130 million inbound travellers, including those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, a 1.4% drop compared to 2007. Despite the global economic crisis, China's outbound tourism improved to 45.8 million outbound tours in 2008, an 11.9% increase compared to 2007, due mainly to the yuan appreciation of the Chinese yuan which increased Chinese citizens' purchasing power.

Source: HVS International, Asia Pacific Newsletter February 2009