Photo: People visit the antique market along the Naviglio Grande in Milan, Italy, Feb. 24, 2019. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)
BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's outbound tourism saw steady growth in the first half of 2019, and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have emerged as popular attractions for Chinese tourists.
Chinese travelers made about 81.3 million outbound trips from January to June, up 14 percent over the same period in 2018, said China Daily, citing figures released by China Tourism Academy.
Among overseas destinations, attractions in BRI-related countries witnessed continuous growth of Chinese visitors, according to the academy.
Mafengwo, a Beijing-based online travel agency, said the initiative has strongly boosted tourism cooperation between China and BRI-involved countries, attracting a growing number of Chinese people to travel there.
Chinese citizens' willingness to visit Italy, for instance, rose by 28 percent after the country signed a memorandum of understanding with China in March.
Moreover, trips to Montenegro by Chinese surged 161 percent year on year in the first six months, according to figures given by Mafengwo.
Easier visa policies and convenient transportation also lured more Chinese visitors to travel to BRI-involved countries.
Nonstop flights have been launched between China and 45 BRI-related countries and regions, and more than 110 new flight routes have been opened, covering nearly 84 percent of Chinese provinces.