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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year launched in NE China

(Xinhua)

08:47, January 06, 2012

HARBIN, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- A launching ceremony for the 2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year was held in northeast China's Heilongjiang province Thursday.

The initiative, along with an accompanying initiative to be launched in Russia in 2013, will boost people-to-people exchanges and consolidate Sino-Russian relations, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a statement on Dec. 31, 2011.

The initiative is the third of its kind to take place between China and Russia, following Sino-Russia National Year and the Sino-Russia Year of Language held in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

The creation of the 2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year is a vital decision made by leaders of both countries to boost the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, said Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration.

The tourism year will serve as a platform to display the abundant tourism resources of the two countries, said Grigory Sarishvili, deputy head of the Russia Federal Tourism Agency.

Statistics from Russian tourism authorities showed that the number of Chinese tourists to Russia during the first nine months in 2011 saw a year-on-year increase of 52 percent.

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