East China scenic city seen 15% rise in visitor numbers

16:55, January 29, 2010      

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Xiamen, a coastal city of east China's Fujian Province, attracted 25 million tourists from home and abroad last year, up 15.1 percent from 2008.

Mayor Liu Cigui said Friday the city would encourage the expansion of its tourism industry.

"We'll make Xiamen another major leisure tourism destination along China's east coast by boosting leisure agriculture, village tourism, forest tourism and leisure fishing industries," he said.

According to the city's Oceanic and Fishery Bureau, more than 100 million yuan (about 14.6 million U.S. dollars) was invested in leisure fishing in 2009.

The city government announced it would promote local tourism in June 2006. Since then, Xiamen has diversified from a traditional sightseeing tourist destination to include business and holiday travel.

Ye Xizhi, deputy director of Xiamen's Gulangyu island administrative commission, said the commission had been encouraging islanders to turn their homes into family hotels or coffee shops.

More than 70 family hotels had opened within the scenic region since 2007, and five of them had star grades, he said.

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