Travel business expands in China

Government of China will ease registered capital requirement on travel agencies funded by overseas businesses from the coming July (1st July 2007), divulges NTA (National Tourism Administration). This will come into effect four months before the deadline (i.e. 11 November 2007) set by WTO (World Trade Organization) for the accession of China.

NTA head Shao Qiwei said that same capital requirements would be imposed on foreign as well as domestic travel agencies, quoted News agency Xinhua on 18 January 2007. According to Qiwei the move was intended to overseas prominent travel agencies for setting up their shops in China. Also, domestic agencies would be encouraged to expand their business overseas.

China needs to further open its tourism sector so that global competitiveness of the industry can be improved. By the year-end 2006, the country had given approval to 25 foreign controlled & foreign funded travel agencies.

NTA forecasts indicate that China tourism industry will thrive in the year 2007. It’s expected that the industry will reach record high revenues of one trillion Yuan, representing 10% increase on 2006. China is expected to see 129 million foreigners visiting the country this year, five million above compared to last year.

China is expected to welcome almost 53.6 million tourists who’ll take at least one night halt there. Approximately 1.39 billion indoor journeys were made in 2006.

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As per the views expressed by a research analyst at RNCOS, ‘The China tourism sector would continue to receive renewed support with relaxation of Govt. regulation following the WTO access. Increased international connectivity and the setting up of top of the line hotel chains in China ahead OF Beijing Olympics in 2008 would be driving the industry in the future.’
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