China retained its status as the world's biggest outbound tourism market last year, when Chinese travelers took almost 150 million trips abroad, up 14.7 percent year-on-year, according to the China Tourism Academy.
That growth continued into the first half of this year when Chinese people made 81.3 million trips overseas, a 14 percent increase on the same period in 2018.
Kate Xiong-Britton, who leads hotel contracting in Europe for Chinese online travel company Ctrip.com, said these impressive figures might even represent the calm before the storm.
"You are thinking currently China is booming, and your business with China is growing. I dare say it hasn't even started yet," Xiong-Britton told the audience.
"Less than 10 percent of Chinese people have passports. Most of the business comes from major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou－very international, mature cities. But China is a massive country, and Ctrip is working on opening up the business to people all over China."
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