China will overtake France to be the world's most popular tourist destination by 2030, according to a new report released Tuesday by a London-based market research firm.
"Destinations like China are poised for a successful performance in inbound tourism, with China set to overtake France as the leading destination worldwide by 2030," market research provider Euromonitor International said on its official Twitter account.
The report, which was released during a travel market event in London, said that this year will see a total of 1.4 billion trips made around the world, up 5 percent from last year. Much of the sustained boom in tourism is centered in the Asia Pacific region, with a 10 percent increase this year.
The report also said that international trips will reach some 2.4 billion within the next 12 years, and China will be the largest inbound market by 2030, with most of the increase in tourism coming from within the Asia Pacific region.
Economic growth and higher incomes in nearby Asian countries encourage travelers to visit China. Besides, looser visa restrictions as well as major sporting events such as the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will also draw more tourists to the country, the report said.
Tourism is one of the key pillars of the Chinese economy, and "much investment has been made to improve infrastructure and standards, in addition to tourism-friendly policies and initiatives," Wouter Geerts, the firm's senior travel analyst, said during the travel market event.
China now sits in the fourth place on the list of the world's most visited countries, while France, the United States and Spain rank the top three, according to the World Tourism Organization.