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Crisis not to dampen tourism in upcoming festival

Fewer inbound tourists due to the world economic slowdown will not dent China's traditional tourist peak during the upcoming Spring Festival, an official said here Monday.


Inbound tourism has shrunk by more than 30 percent as a result of the global financial crisis, said Wang Zhifa, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration.


That won't affect the whole tourist market during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which will last a week from Jan.25, as inbound tourists account only a tiny share of the cake, said Liu.


The number of tourists during the holiday period will continue to grow steadily, because tourism has become a holiday lifestyle for Chinese, he said.


Taiwan will be a popular destination for mainland tourists during the festival as the availability of direct flights across the Straits reduced aviation cost and travel fees, Wang noted.


Outbound Chinese travelers are expected to favor short- and mid-distance destinations such as Hong Kong, Macao and southeast Asian nations.


China's tourism industry reaped 39.3 billion yuan (5.46 billionU.S. dollars) during last year's Spring Festival week, down 6.2 percent from a year earlier because of the worst snowstorm in five decades in the country.


(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)