China is one of the most successful examples of where prioritisation of tourism in government policy leads to higher income and more jobs, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Speaking at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, WTTC president David Scowsill emphasised the power of tourism to drive economic growth and create jobs and highlighted the government of the People’s Republic of China’s recognition of this.
China has constructed thousands of kilometres of high-speed rail track and over 60 airports over the last decade and is looking to invest over US$720 billion in the next three years to meet the demand of both domestic and international travellers.
According to WTTC research, China’s tourism sector will grow by seven per cent per annum for the next ten years.
By 2026, the sector will underpin around ten per cent of the total Chinese economy and almost 100 million jobs.
“China is currently the second largest tourism economy in the world and is one of the fastest growing.
“The government plays a great role in stimulating this growth.
“We encourage the government to continue to invest in the sector and to consider implementing visa waiver schemes, which will stimulate inbound travel.
“The number of foreigners visiting China has remained static at approximately 55 million people for around five years,” Scowsill said.
Scowsill further addressed Macau, the host of GTEF, arguing that the island “continues to re-invent itself as a tourist attraction, bringing on new products to ensure that guests return time and time again.”
In 2015, over 70 per cent of Macau’s economy was generated through tourism, largely gambling, taking into account the sector’s indirect, direct and induced contribution.