Fewer Tourists Coming to China, Pollution Cited as a Major Concern

Charles Liu , January 24, 2015 3:28pm (updated)

great wall smog air pollutionChina’s air pollution is the top reason why fewer tourists are coming to China, according to a national tourism body. Dai Bin, director of China Tourism Research Institution, hopes to waive visa requirements in order to make it easier for people to visit the country, but tackling pollution may take a lot longer to resolve.

In 2013, 129 million tourists visited China, a year-on-year drop of 2.51 percent. There were 56 million overnight visitors last year, also down 3.53 percent. China has the fourth-highest number of tourists in the world after France, the USA and Spain.

China’s tourist numbers are still huge partly because it considers visitors from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as part of the figures. Hong Kong sends the most tourists to the country (59.56 percent), Macau is second at 16.07 percent, with Taiwan following at 4 percent.

Tourists that come from “foreign” countries makes up 20.37 percent of the annual total, or only 26.3 million tourists in 2013. South Korea, Japan, Russia and the USA send the most visitors.

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Photo: Xinhuanet

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor