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Abstract

China's Tourism industry, especially international tourism, has expanded rapidly since its market-oriented economic reform started in 1978. There has been limited information regarding the trends and regional disparities. This paper examines the national trends of China's international tourism since 1982 and analyzes the changes in regional disparities since 1995. While the trend analysis suggests that China's international tourism is likely to keep growing at a significant rate, the analysis of regional disparities based on Gini coefficient indicates that the regional inequality in the number of international tourists and income has shown a downward trend since 1995. Findings from this study suggest that China's economic reform has stimulated the growth in international tourism and the international tourism has contributed to its economic growth and business development.

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