China to become world’s most visited country by 2030

China will beat France and become the leader in the tourist industry, a new report suggests

France will most likely lose its position as the most popular destination among travellers. According to a new study published by Euromonitor International, by 2030 the throne will belong to China.

80 per cent of visitors to China come from other Asian countries — Sittirak Jadlit / Shutterstock China to become world's most visited country by 2030
80 per cent of visitors to China come from other Asian countries — Sittirak Jadlit / Shutterstock

Wouter Geerts, consultant at Euromonitor and author of the report, said at the World Travel Market in London this week that tourism has become one of the key pillars of the Chinese economy.

His research suggests that China will become the largest inbound market by 2030, with many tourists coming from within Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and the surrounding region.

According to the report, the increase in visitors to China reflects the economic growth and higher incomes in Asian countries. Greets said that around 80 per cent of tourists visiting China were coming from within the continent.

Access to the country has been improving as well. Asian tourists are granted visas more easily than before. The country also supports the influx of tourism by various measures. According to Greets: “Much investment has been made to improve infrastructure and standards, in addition to tourism-friendly policies and initiatives.”

However, for travellers from the US or the UK, the visa processes remain more difficult and more costly. A single-entry Chinese visa for a UK citizen currently costs $198 (£151).

As of now, China sits in fourth place on the list of the world’s most visited countries. The top spot is held by France, followed by the United States and Spain.

Not only will China welcome the biggest inbound travel market, but Euromonitor also predicts that the country will have the largest number of outbound travellers, overtaking the US and Germany. By 2030, China expects 260 million Chinese to travel abroad.