Expedia has partnered with China's biggest hotel operator, Jin Jiang Hotels, to expand its presence in the country's booming tourism sector.

Through the partnership, Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co. Ltd., Expedia will make Jin Jiang's more than 250 hotels available to its customers, it said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Jin Jiang Hotels, which holds the core business of Hong-Kong listed Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotel (Group) Co., Ltd. (2006.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), plans to expand overseas and grow to 500 hotels and inns by 2010, Expedia said.

China received 124 million visitors and earned $33.5 billion from tourism last year, making the country the sixth highest tourism revenue earner globally, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China's tourism industry is expected to grow rapidly in coming years, boosted in part by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Source: Reuters