Second Shennongjia International Tourism Festival Opens

The mysterious Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China's Hubei Province, known as the home of China's "Bigfoot," opened its second international ecological tourism festival Wednesday.

Shennongjia, one-third of which is a state-level nature reserve, contains rare sub-tropical primitive forest species. In the reserve people have found many rare plants and animals that are believed to be on the verge of extinction elsewhere.

With a high forest coverage rate of 88 percent, the 70,000 hectare nature reserve is a shelter for 50 animal species under first-level state protection and 39 kinds of rare and endangered plant species that are under first- and second-level protection.

Unique folk customs and rich local lore from the reserve region are also major attractions to tourists.

A decade-long development project to boost tourism has enabled the reserve to give tourists improved services in catering, accommodation, entertainment and shopping, a local official said.

People's Daily Online ---