BEIJING-Within 10 years China will likely be the number one tourist destination in the world, according to a recent report put out by NREI Magazine. As the country prepares to surpass the US, France and Spain as a hotspot, hotel development projects are moving forward, regardless of the current economic crisis.

“We believe that Asia will be one of the least-affected areas by the economic downturn as the region’s financial systems are relatively resilient, following improvements made after the 1997 financial crisis in Asia,” says Matthew Sparks, SVP of global development for Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, in the report.

As a result of this positive outlook, FRHI has expanded all three of its brands in the area. Westin, Intercontinental, Best Western and Holiday Inn Express have all recently looked to the Asian hospitality market for expansion.

The number of people flocking to Asia has steadily increased over the years. According to the United National World Tourism Organization, 188 million people traveled to Asia in 2008. And while travel is expected to lessen this year due to the tightening of pocketbooks, Asia will still see $10 billion in tourism revenue during the next three years.

To read the full report click here.