Tourism in China

China recorded a total of 61 million tourists in 2017, ranking 4th in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of China, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.044 tourists per resident, China ranked 164th in the world. In East Asia, it ranked 6th.

China generated around 32.62 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.24 percent of its the gross domestic product.



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Development of the tourism sector in China from 1995 to 2017

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in China each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all countries in East Asia.

Tourists per year in China

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 8.73 billion USD, or about 1.2 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 20.03 million tourists at that time and roughly 436 USD per person. Within 22 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 32.62 billion USD, accounting for 0.27 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 537 USD for his holiday in China.

Annual receipts as percentage of the gross national product:
Tourism receipts in China per year

All data for China in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPExpences per person
199520.03 m8.73 bn $1.2 %436 $
199622.77 m10.20 bn $1.2 %448 $
199723.77 m12.63 bn $1.3 %531 $
199825.07 m13.23 bn $1.3 %528 $
199927.05 m15.01 bn $1.4 %555 $
200031.23 m17.32 bn $1.4 %555 $
200133.17 m19.01 bn $1.4 %573 $
200236.80 m21.74 bn $1.5 %591 $
200332.97 m18.71 bn $1.1 %567 $
200441.76 m27.76 bn $1.4 %665 $
200546.81 m29.30 bn $1.3 %626 $
200649.91 m33.95 bn $1.2 %680 $
200754.72 m37.23 bn $1.0 %680 $
200853.05 m40.84 bn $0.89 %770 $
200950.88 m39.68 bn $0.78 %780 $
201055.66 m45.81 bn $0.75 %823 $
201157.58 m48.46 bn $0.64 %842 $
201257.73 m50.03 bn $0.59 %867 $
201355.69 m51.66 bn $0.54 %928 $
201455.62 m44.04 bn $0.42 %792 $
201556.89 m44.97 bn $0.41 %791 $
201659.27 m44.43 bn $0.40 %750 $
201760.74 m32.62 bn $0.27 %537 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.