China and Senegal signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday that clears the way for groups of tourists to visit the West African country. Senegal becomes the 151st destination that groups from China can visit.
Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourism Administration, said the country is willing to cooperate further with Senegal over tourism development and air facilitation. "Africa is becoming one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists," said Shao. "Senegal is an important African country with abundant tourism resources."
The MoU marks a new beginning for tourism cooperation between China and Senegal. "Senegal is welcome to promote its tourism industry in China, letting more agencies and travelers know about this beautiful country." Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s minister of tourism and air transport, said his country welcomes Chinese tourists and investment from Chinese travel companies.
Shao said China is the top-ranked country for outbound tourism, ranked fourth for receiving overseas visitors, and has the world's largest domestic tourism market. Statistics from the National Tourism Administration show that in 2013, China received 55.69 million overseas visitors who spent $51.7 billion.
The number of outbound tourist reached 98.19 million, up 18 percent on 2012. The number of domestic tourists reached 3.26 billion, a 10.3 percent increase. The government has granted approved destination status to 151 countries. Some 117 countries and regions have already hosted travel groups from China.