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China celebrates 2nd Tourism Day

China's second Tourism Day,Zhangjiajie

China celebrated its second Tourism Day Saturday with various activities staged across the country to welcome tourists from home and abroad and thousands of travel agencies and hotels offering discounts to boost business.

The Tourism Day was approved as a non-statutory holiday by the State Council, or China's Cabinet, in 2011.

The theme of this year's Tourism Day is "Healthy Lifestyles and Happy Travels". Vice Premier Wang Qishan on Saturday attended an opening ceremony of the day in the city of Zhangjiajie, central Hunan Province, a tourist attraction.

In the Chinese capital Beijing, more than 100 sight-seeing spots as well as memorial halls were opened free to tourists. Meanwhile, students from Hong Kong attended a flag-raising ceremony at the Tiananmen Square and climbed the Badaling Great Wall in Beijing.

The establishment of the Tourism Day came amid Chinese people's greater desire for travels in recent years. Official data showed revenues of the country's tourism sector hit 2.25 trillion yuan (356 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011, up 20.8 percent year-on-year.