CHINA'S hotel industry has experienced rapid growth with a current room inventory of 340,000. However, the amazing growth seen in the past couple of years in the quantity and quality of accommodation has not been matched by visitor arrivals, leading to a soft market in many of the major cities where the vast majority of development aimed at tourists and business travellers has been targeted. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism in China is being constrained by lack of air links between the country and likely sources of tourism. ''There is a lot of interest in China from all over the world,'' said WTTC member Robert Burns. ''People are also very excited with the country. However, the reason the visitors are not arriving in China is because of the under-supply of flights to the country.'' He said that for air links to grow, the Chinese Government should make the decision to open its skies and allow competition. ''At the moment, there are only Dragonair and Chinese airlines flying into China from Hongkong, and the service they provide is not sufficient to meet the demand. ''Add to that, there are complaints of the quality of the services offered by the Chinese airlines, like the food is horrible and so forth. ''If there were competition, the airlines would improve and become more efficient and the consumer would be able to enjoy better service.'' Mr Burns said there also was demand for development of internal air links in China. ''It is very difficult for a traveller to move from one part of China to another,'' he said. ''Not only that, there is also a demand for air links by the local Chinese to get from one place to another.'' Mr Burns, who is a member of a WTTC delegation involved in helping the Chinese National Tourism Administration to develop tourism in the country, said ground services, including rail and bus infrastructure, also needed to be improved.