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China receives less overseas tourists in 1st three quarters

China received 93.94 million overseas tourists in the first three quarters of the year, down 3.45 percent from that of the corresponding period of 2008, a tourism official said on Wednesday.

"The global financial crisis and the spreading A/H1N1 flu jointly affected the sector," said Li Kezhi, director of the tourism promotion and international cooperation department of the National Tourism Administration.

China's tourism market is expected to recover along with the improving economic situation and the upcoming Shanghai World Expo, he said.

Compared with the decline in the number of overseas tourists, Li said Chinese people made 1.43 billion domestic tours and 35 million overseas visits during the period, up 9.4 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

Li made the remarks at a press conference on the four-day 11th China International Travel Mart, which will begin Thursday in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.