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Scenic destinations record bulk of tourist arrivals

More than 20 million Chinese hit the road for major tourist spots across the country during the National Day holiday period, up 18.4 percent over last year's 17.34 million, according to the statistics released by China National Tourism Administration.

As of 5pm Wednesday, the tourism authority reported some 20.53 million tourists inundated nearly 120 key tourist sites around the country, with the peak visitation day being Monday. That day alone, some 4.3 million tourists crowded into the tourism destinations, up 18.79 percent year-on-year.

Shanghai, which has been a hot spot for tourists since the opening of the World Expo 2010 in May, also proved popu-lar during the national holiday week. As of 3pm Thursday, the Shanghai Expo saw some 2.42 million people move through their gates during the holiday period, also know as Golden Week.

Zha Xiaofang, a tour guide with Huangshan Lequn travel agency, said package prices for the World Expo increased by some 50 percent during the national holiday.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan were also favorite tour destinations during the past week , said Ye Wei, managing director with Beijing CAISSA International Travel Service.

With travel restrictions to Canada officially relaxed for Chinese tourists in August, the nation has become a popular destination for outbound travelers during the national holiday, according to tour operator Beijing CAISSA International Travel Service.

The company's travel package sales to North America increased 47 percent year-on-year.