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China tourism enthusiasm dampens during Spring Festival holiday
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16:45, February 14, 2008

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Prolonged cold weather in south China dampened travel enthusiasm during the recent Spring Festival with 87.37 million tourists traveling within and to the country during the week-long holiday, down 5.2 percent over the same period last year, the latest government figures show.

The figure did not include the millions of Chinese traveling home for the traditional Lunar New Year.

China's tourism industry reaped 39.3 billion yuan (about 5.46 billion U.S. dollars) during the Golden week, 6.2 percent less than last year, according to the coordination office for national holiday tourism under the National Tourism Administration.

Some popular tourist attractions, including Beijing, Xiamen and Wuhan, all reported less tourists as people swarmed to near-by neighboring areas instead of making long-distance trips amid worries about weather and traffic.

About 10,000 domestic tour groups have also cancelled since January as chaotic weather plagued southern and eastern China. Some hard-hit provinces had to close their outdoor tourist attractions.

The snow storm, the worst in five decades in China, killed 107 people and left eight others missing as of Feb. 12. The direct-economic loss was estimated at 111.1 billion yuan.

Source: Xinhua

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