Tourism sector dries up in parched SW China

16:56, March 30, 2010      

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Local tourism industries in Guilin, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces have all been hit to different degrees by China's once-in-a-century drought.
"Guilin is well-known for its landscape, so its tourism industry is vulnerable to the impactof the severe drought compared with Yunnan Province," said Chen Xiwei, an analyst with Guotai Jun'an Securities.

However, Chen expects listed Guilin Travel Company's shares to remain stable.

"Furthermore, it is probable that national travelers will switch their trips to China's west and east if the drought continues in the southwest," he said.

The drought has depleted water levels in Yunnan Province's famous Lijiang, a mountain town known for the many small streams that flow through the cobblestone-paved city center. That has caused average travel time in the area to be shortened by half and ticket prices at the city's different attractions to drop, according to the Daily Economic News.

A clerk with Guilin Comfort Travel said Monday that the Guilin City Tourism Bureau has opened two new tourist routes in response to the drought, but phone inquiries from potential tourists are still lower than ever before.

The drought has had a serious impact on the tourism industry of Guizhou Province.

The flow of Huangguoshu Waterfall, the biggest waterfall in China, has dropped by roughly 75 percent as a result of the drought, and tourist numbers are down 20 percent, with several travel agencies canceling plans for April tours, according to Xie Xiaoyan, manager of the planning and logistics department of Guizhou China Travel Service.

Xie said the local government has put measures in place to try to conserve water at the Huangguoshu Waterfall. She said water levels have dropped more than 10 meters at the Long Gong Waterfall, but tourism would not fall as hard.

Source: Global Times

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