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Home of Chinese "Bigfoot" seeks to boost eco-tourism


15:22, March 08, 2012

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Shennongjia, a forest region and long rumored home of the elusive Bigfoot-like ape man in the central province of Hubei, wants eco-tourism there to boost the underdeveloped region's economy.

Less than two months after the Shennongjia Nature Reserve was named a national 5A-Class Scenic Spot by the National Tourism Administration, the region has teamed up with Beijing, seeking the Chinese capital's help to develop its tourism.

The Shennongjia Forest Region and Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development signed an agreement earlier this week, according to which Beijing will help Shennongjia promote tourism.

Travel agencies in Beijing will launch several "Beijing + Shennongjia" tour programs, said Qian Yuankun, Party chief of the forest region.

Beijing has also agreed to provide training for tourism professionals in the poor region, Qian said.

Beijing may also send chartered flights or trains to Shennongjia during peak seasons as getting to the mountainous region sometimes is challenging, said Qu Hao, an official with the state-owned Shennong Tourism Company.

Qian is expecting an eco-tourism boom in the coming years with Shennongjia's first airport expected to be completed next year.

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