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China's tourism industry reaps golden harvest

(Xinhua)

08:06, October 08, 2012

Tourists overlook the Forbidden city at Jingshan Park in Beijing on Oct 3. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's "Golden Week" holiday justified its title with a rise in tourism revenue, National Tourism Administration (NTA) statistics showed Sunday.

The country's 119 major scenic spots received a total of 34.25 million visitors during the eight-day holiday, up 20.96 percent from the corresponding period last year. Tourism income surged by nearly a quarter from 2011 to 1.77 billion yuan (278.39 million U.S. dollars), the NTA said.

The administration said many scenic spots, including the Forbidden City, attracted record volumes of visitors during the longest-ever "Golden Week" bridging the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday.

On Tuesday, 186,000 people visited the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum at the heart of Beijing -- the largest single-day number of visitors ever.

But the holiday tour spree also gave rise to complaints among the public about unpleasantly crowded scenic spots and restaurants as well as traffic congestion.

On Wednesday, thousands of vehicles jammed two mountain roads winding to and out of the Lushan Mountain scenic area in eastern China.

The week witnessed a significant increase in the number of individual road travelers because of the government's policy that exempts passenger cars from road tolls during the holiday.

The policy resulted in unprecedented traffic and caused heavy congestion on major expressways.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Transport, a record of 80.87 million people traveled by road each day during the holiday, adding the total volume to 647 million.

Meanwhile, the country's trains carried 60.95 million passengers, up 9.4 percent year on year, while the number of airway travelers hit 7.61 million from September 29 to October 6.

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