China's domestic tourism market makes up more than 90% of the country's tourism traffic, and adds more than 70% of total tourism revenue. In 2002, domestic tourists reached 878 million and tourism revenue was USD 46.9 billion. The five day week and longer vacations have increased leisure time for the Chinese people.
A large middle class population with strong spending is beginning to grow from China, especially in bigger cities. China's outbound tourists reached 20.22 million in 2003, becoming bigger than Japan for the first time. Currently there are 65 areas open to Chinese tour groups. Not considering the threat of Sars and other unexpected events, based on the current economic growth situation and the social development of China, China's outbound tourism is ready to achieve a new growth.
China's tourist hotel sector is expanding rapidly. At the end of 2003, China had a total of 10,093 tourist hotels and more than 820,000 rooms, 773 of these tourist hotels were created by foreign companies as four- and five-star tourist hotels made up 26% and 30.02% of the national total.
In 2003, there were a total of 11,522 travel agencies in China, and 1,349 were international ones and 10,203 were domestic ones. While overall tourism market increased, there was a decrease in the market position. As competition increased China's tourism industry began to get low profits, although it was expanding its scale of operations.
Currently, there are about 15,000 natural, cultural attractions. Hong Kong investors are creating the buzz and tourist attractions in China. In 2001, Sichuan became the first province to suggest renting out scenic areas to foreign investors.
According to the plan by China National Tourism Administration, the number of tourists within the country, foreign exchange earnings from tourism and the domestic market are believed to have annual growth of 8%, in the next five to ten years. It is also forecasted by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) that China's tourism industry will take up to 8.6% of world market share to become the world's top tourism industry by 2020.
The Peoples Republic of China was founded in 1949 after defeat of the Kuomintang nationalist party during the civil war. Afterwards the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung accomplished his communist vision of society. During the Great Leap forward millions died due to the state controlled program. Mao's death in 1976 caused new leadership and financial changes. In the early 1980's the government stopped collective farming and allowed the privatization of private enterprises. The rate of economic change has not been matched by changes within politics. The Communist party still retains its power and control over the people. Authorities still make sure that any opponents are immediately dealt with. (BBC.com, 2010)(责任编辑：BUG)