China’s rapid growth in domestic tourism continued in 2018, with a total of 5.54 billion domestic tourist trips, an annual increase of 10.76%, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced.

Last year, domestic tourism in China generated a total income of 5,130 billion yuan (764 billion dollars) for the sector, an annual increase of 12.3%, according to the Ministry.

With the growing demand for Chinese cultural consumption, the country’s per capita spending on education, cultural products and entertainment increased by 6.7% to 2,226 yuan ($331) in 2018, representing 11.2% of per capita consumer spending, according to the Ministry.

As urbanization continues to progress in China and living conditions have improved steadily in recent years, Chinese spending on culture and tourism has continued to increase and has become a new area of economic growth.

Ministry officials stressed the importance of providing quality cultural and tourist products during the Spring Festival holidays and called for efforts to promote new areas of tourist consumption such as winter sports and thermal tourism. Besides the popular destinations, such as the northeast provinces famous for snow scenery and China’s southern part for the warm climate, provinces such as Fujian and Guizhou are also launching activities to attract travelers.

The Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) falls this year from February 4 to 10 and is recognized in China as a golden week for the tourism industry. More than 400 million trips are expected to be made by tourists from the Chinese mainland during the holiday, including an estimated 7 million trips to outbound destinations, travel agencies said.

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