Geographies in Depth

China in pictures: Tourism

Tourists explore a sightseeing platform in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China, REUTERS/Stringer

Tourists explore a sightseeing platform in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China, REUTERS/Stringer Image: REUTERS/Stringer

David Knowles
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As its middle class grows and consumer spending increases, Chinese tourists are making a huge impact on the world. Spending 258 billion U.S. dollars abroad (around 20% of the world’s total spending on tourism), Chinese tourists are the world’s biggest spenders. The number of Chinese citizens taking foreign holidays is growing at over 6% a year and McKinsey forecasts 160 million will take holidays outside China next year.

But as well as traveling abroad, increasing numbers of Chinese people are visiting their own country. Whether it’s taking the two ‘golden weeks’ off to visit friends and family or just discovering different corners of their vast country, Chinese domestic tourism is becoming a big business. Domestic overnight leisure travel is set to increase to 798 million trips by 2020 compared to 245 million in 2010.

Here is a selection of photos from China's booming domestic tourism scene.

Image: Tourists watch the flooded Jinsha River at a sightseeing platform of Tiger Leaping Gorge, in Diqing, Yunnan Province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Passengers outside Zhengzhou Railway Station stop to catch their breath next to an illuminated “Welcome Home” sign during the Spring Festival before Chinese Lunar New Year in Henan province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Visitors explore a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge over Fuxi Mountain valley outside Xinmi city, Henan province. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Image: Visitors flock beneath blooming cherry blossoms, near Jiming Temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Visitors take pictures of penguins that are brought to the Ice and Snow World park for a promotional event during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Heilongjiang province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: The Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, a hotel built on the site of a former quarry. REUTERS/Aly Song
Image: A folk artist cooks crawfish as he stands on knives at a tourism area in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province. REUTERS/Stringe
Image: Young visitors stand in front of jellyfish at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Image: Traditional buildings are lit by coloured lights at a tourist area in the Wuzhen town of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Image: Visitors throng the Bund, Shanghai's iconic waterfront, on a national holiday. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Hot air balloons decorating a plaza during a tourism event in Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou province. China Daily via REUTERS
Image: Workers install red lanterns ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring festival, at a tourist attraction in Linyi, Shandong province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Tourists walk on a sightseeing platform in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province. REUTERS/Stringer
Image: Tourists visit a tulip field in Zhumadian, Henan province. REUTERS/Stringer
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