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Tourism income of quake-hit Sichuan to reach 120 bln yuan this year
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10:49, May 13, 2009

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The tourism income in quake-hit Sichuan Province is expected to reach 120 billion yuan (17.5 billion U.S. dollars) this year which levels the figure before the quake, officials of the National Tourism Administration said Tuesday.

Dampened by last year's 8.0-magnitude earthquake, Sichuan's travel industry earned 109 billion yuan in 2008, down 10 percent against 2007. The market begins to revive this year thanks to tourism promotion efforts, with a 12 percent year-on-year increase in the income for the first quarter, according to statistics from the administration.

The industry is expected to reach the level before the quake as the growth retains this year, officials said.

Almost 100 famous scenic spots opened to the public for free on May 12, the first quake anniversary, to express the gratitude to supports in reconstruction both from home and abroad. Half-price will be offered on other days in May.

Sichuan has many famous scenic sites such as: Jiuzhaigou, a resort famous for its natural beauty;

Dujiangyan, one of the world's oldest irrigation systems; and the Giant Buddha in Leshan City, the largest sitting stone sculpture of Buddha in the world.

Tourists worldwide also come to the province to see the giant pandas at the Panda Breeding Research Center and the Wolong Nature Reserve, a major panda habitat in Sichuan.

Source: Xinhua

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