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China tourism revenue up 12.4% in H1

Chinese tourists leave after visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok on August 21, 2015.  Busloads of visitors from China flocked to Bangkok's glittering Grand Palace on August 21 but, days after a bomb at another of the city's popular attractions killed five Chinese tourists, Thailand's biggest spending holidaymakers are rattled.      AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT

Chinese tourists leave after visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok on August 21, 2015. Busloads of visitors from China flocked to Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace on August 21 but, days after a bomb at another of the city’s popular attractions killed five Chinese tourists, Thailand’s biggest spending holidaymakers are rattled. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT

BEIJING — China’s tourism industry raked in 2.25 trillion yuan (USD346 billion) in revenue on the first half of the year, up 12.4 percent year on year, official statistics showed on Monday.

Domestic tourists made 2.24 billion trips in the first half, an increase of 10.5 percent. Inbound and outbound trips edged up 4.1 percent to 127 million, China National Tourism Administration (NTA) said.

Tourism has become a strong engine for economic growth. The sector contributed 10.8 percent to GDP last year and created 10.2 percent of new jobs, according to NTA data.

China’s spending in the tourism sector is likely to triple by 2020, to 3 trillion yuan, said NTA head Li Jinzao, during the First World Conference on Tourism for Development in May.

China invested more than 1 trillion yuan in the sector last year, an increase of 42 percent from one year before, according to Li.