BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's tourism trade surplus is expected to increase as the country is taking in more cash from inbound visitors than its outbound travelers spend overseas, according to the country's tourism industry watchdog.
China's inbound tourism market has emerged from the downturn after the global financial crisis and increased continuously in the past few years, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the country's outbound tourism industry has entered a stage of slower growth after fast expansion, according to the statement.
Inbound tourism revenue rose 5.6 percent year on year to 120 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, exceeding outbound tourism spending by 10.2 billion dollars, CNTA data showed.
In the first half of 2017, inbound tourists made 69.5 million trips, while 62 million overseas trips were made by Chinese tourists, the CNTA statement said.
Both the number of and revenue from inbound trips have increased steadily since 2014, it said.
China has vowed to develop tourism into a major driver for economic transformation and upgrading by 2020.
The CNTA predicted direct investment in tourism to jump more than 20 percent from last year to 1.5 trillion yuan (223.3 billion U.S. dollars) this year.
In 2016, China's tourism revenue totaled 4.69 trillion yuan, contributing around 11 percent to the national economy.