China's tourism sector earned US$96 billion last year and will likely grow by 8 percent this year as the country climbs up the ladder of top travel destinations, Xinhua news agency reported.

China received 120 million overseas visitors in 2005 and saw 31 million outbound travelers, said the report, adding that travelers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are considered overseas visitors.

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China is expected to have 64 million foreign tourists in 2010, which is expected to put it in third place among world tourist destinations for that year, according to Chinese media.

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Source: China Daily