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Beijing, Shanghai see tourism boom during holiday

Beijing and Shanghai, China's two biggest cities, have received a huge number of tourists during the National Day holiday, local tourism authorities said Thursday.

A total of 15 million tourists have visited Beijing during the eight-day holiday, up 59 percent from the same period last year.

Tourism revenue in Beijing rose 3.1 percent year-on-year to a record high of 5.4 billion yuan (790 million U.S. dollars).

The grand celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic sparked the tourism boom as 8.2 million tourists visited the Tian'anmen Square area in the center of the Chinese capital where a massive military parade was held on Oct. 1.

In addition, China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", received over 220,000 domestic and overseas tourists.

Shanghai received 5.8 million tourists during the eight-day period, up 17.3 percent from last year's National Day golden week.

The Chinese financial and business center earned 4.6 billion yuan (673 million U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue, up 21 percent from the National Day holiday last year.

The holiday is usually a week-long golden week. But this year it is extended to eight days as the Mid-Autumn Festival, also a public holiday, fell on Oct. 3.