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|Tuesday, January 02, 2001, updated at 14:57(GMT+8)|
Tourism to Get Boost in Central China ProvinceThe central China province of Hubei will focus effort towards tourism to expand the service sector in the new century.
The pledge was made by Jia Zhijie, top official of Hubei Province.
Du Yunsheng, head of Hubei Provincial Tourism Bureau, also predicted a fast growth in the province's tourism industry in the new century.
Hubei has appropriate conditions for land, air and water transport and also has abundant tourism resources, including the Three Gorges in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the Shennongjia Nature Reserve containing primitive forests, and Wudang Mountain, a sacred shrine for Daoism.
In recent years, the province has added a great number of new scenic sites. It has also built 293 star-rated hotels. Currently, 300,000 people are engaged in the tourism sector in the province.
Last year, the province raked in 29 billion yuan (about 3.49 billion US dollars) from the tourism industry, up 32 percent from 1999. Hubei has hosted 430,000 overseas tourists in the past year, and earned 140 million US dollars from tourism services, both figures showing a drastic increase on the previous year.
The tourism sector contributed 6.7 percent to the province's gross domestic product (GDP) with the earnings in 2000, a rise of 0.3 percent from 1999.
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