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Russia Gains Popularity among Chinese Holidaymakers
Russia, Morocco and Tunisia have gained popularity among Chinese mainland tourists during the National Day holiday.
Russia, Morocco and Tunisia have gained popularity among Chinese mainland tourists during the National Day holiday due to favorable currency rates and relaxed visa policies while Taiwan suffered a dramatic decrease in the number of mainland holidaymakers.

The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said it recorded 593 million tourism-related visits and revenue reached 482.2 billion yuan ($ 72.31 billion), 14.4 percent increase over the same period last year. This exceeded its forecast of 478.1 billion yuan and 589 million visits.

Among overseas travel destinations, visits to Russia rose by over 103 percent - the third most popular overseas destination for Chinese tourists behind South Korea and Japan.

A former CNTA official surnamed Yang told the Global Times that "Russia is China's neighbor, so many tourists from northern China can easily go to Russia by train, plus the ruble's depreciation and healthy Sino-Russian ties make Russia an ideal tourist destination for Chinese."

Countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Tonga also enjoyed a spike in tourists from China after they lifted their visa requirements on China residents, enjoying an increase of anywhere from 300-600 percent, CNTA said.

Tian Fei, an employee of Chinese travel agency Ctrip, told China Radio International that the reasons why more Chinese are choosing to travel overseas include a favorable exchange rate, preferential visa policies and an increase in the number of flight routes.

However, Taiwan has been suffering. Taiwan only received 7, 915 visits from the mainland, a drop of 69.29 percent compared to 2015, CNTA said.

The "Golden Week" tourism was also affected by the Belt and Road initiative. Many Chinese provinces along the ancient Silk Road, such as Gansu Province, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous regions, saw a marked increase in tourists and revenue, CNTA said.
  Source: Global Times

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