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Move to curb fall in number of tourists

China's tourism industry has launched a major campaign to help arrest the major decline of American holidaymakers coming to the mainland.


The financial crisis caused foreign tourist arrivals to fall sharply in October, according to the National Administration of Tourism.


The number of tourists from the US, China's biggest foreign tourist market after South Korea, Japan and Russia, fell a year-on-year in October. Only 179,600 Americans visited China that month.


In the first 10 months, the total number of US tourists was 1.53 million, down 4.7 percent year-on-year.


But tourism officials, who are now in the US promoting China, believe the long-term future between the two nations looks very bright.


"China and the US are both big countries with rich tourism resources and huge markets. We can supply each other with tourists," said Xu Yan, head of tourism promotions to Europe and America.


Tour operators on both sides of the Pacific Ocean are cooperating like never before, he said.


In a bid to fight the detrimental effects of the global economic downturn, a 50-member tourism industry delegation arrived in the US last week to promote China as a safe and diversified tourism destination.


Last month in Shanghai, US and Chinese tourism industry associations signed a cooperation agreement in order to strengthen ties.


Both sides agreed to build a platform for sharing tourism information, create new cross-promotional activities, and boost cooperation in tourism investment.


(China Daily December 15, 2008)