Can Chinese Tourism Beat the Credit Crisis?
Recent news from China might be causing jitters among tourism industry executives counting on a surge in business from China's newly wealthy travelers. With gross domestic product growth slowing to 9% for the third quarter, the slowest rate in five years, the Chinese economy is starting to feel the effects of the global downturn. At the same time, China's tourism engine is showing signs of slowing. The number of Chinese tourists traveling to many overseas destinations fell in August; Hong Kong retailers accustomed to big-spending visits by mainland tourists griped about disappointing sales during the week-long National Day holiday in early October; and casino operators in Macao, the former Portuguese colony that depends largely on Chinese tourists, saw revenues fall to $890 million in September, a 3.4% drop from the same period a year ago and a 28% drop from the previous month.
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