China’s tourism revenues rose 22.9 percent to 646.8 billion yuan (102.67 billion U.S. dollars) during the first quarter of 2012, a senior official said Friday.

Domestic tourists made 875 million trips from January to March, up 15.1 percent year-on-year, Shao Qiwei, head of the National Tourism Administration (NTA), said in a statement posted on the NTA’s website.

The tourism industry has been playing an increasingly important role in stimulating domestic demand and generating jobs. Rising domestic living standards and the country’s unremitting efforts to open wider to the outside world will provide fresh opportunities for the development of the tourism sector, Shao said in the statement.

Meanwhile, over 400,000 mainland travellers visited Taiwan during the first quarter, up 53 percent year-on-year. Currently, 41 mainland cities offer direct flights to Taiwan, according to the statement.




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