The city of Luoyang in central China's Henan Province has become the latest city to distribute travel coupons to boost tourism.
Wang Lilin, a Luoyang publicity department official, said Monday that 65.2 million yuan (9.5 million U.S. dollars) in coupons would be distributed through tourism promotion offices, travel agencies and websites to residents of major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
The city hopes the coupons will attract 1 million tourists to Luoyang, known as the "city of peonies," he said. "They will bring as much as 1 billion yuan in tourism revenue and 4.3 billion yuan in revenue for related sectors."
He said the costs would be covered by the city government along with participating tourist sites, travel agencies and hotels.
Many Chinese cities have made coupon offers to help spur consumption during the economic slowdown. For example, quake-hit Chengdu in the southwest and the eastern cities of Hangzhou and Nanjing gave low-income residents coupons for shopping and entertainment.
(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2009)