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China key to global tourism growth in 2010

A senior official with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said on Saturday that China was expected to contribute a lot to global tourism recovery in 2010.

Taleb Rifai, the secretary general of the UNWTO, said global tourism experienced the most difficult year in 2009 with the global tourism revenue dropped by 4 percent.

The UNWTO forecast the global tourism revenue in 2010 was expected to grow by 2-3 percent and China would contribute a lot to the growth, he said.

He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Boao International Tourism Forum.

Global tourism was at a crucial recovery phase and it was necessary to pool wisdom worldwide and information to boost tourism growth, said Shao Qiwei, chairman of the National Tourism Administration of China.

The forum provided a rare chance for Hainan to learn from advanced experiences in its drive to grow into an international tourism island, said Wei Liucheng, secretary of the Hainan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The forum held in Sanya has attracted about 2,000 people from worldwide tourist sectors to exchange their experiences in boosting tourism amid the global financial downturn.

Sponsors of the forum included Hainan Provincial government, the National Tourism Administration and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.