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Hot travel market despite economic slowdown
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The chill of the global economic recession has not been felt at China's tropical beach resort of Sanya, which enjoyed unprecedented heat in its travel market this winter.

During the recent seven-day Spring Festival holiday, Sanya earned 1.25 billion yuan in tourism-related income, an 18.89 percent jump year-on-year.

The number of tourists rose to 353,900, up 15.31 percent on the previous year, while the hotel occupancy rate reached 88.57 percent, an increase of 3.44 percent year-on-year.

During the peak travel season, it was difficult to get an airplane ticket Sanya for less than a small fortune, and finding a banquet table on the eve of the Lunar New Year was nearly impossible without a reservation.

"The Spring Festival has a special meaning for Chinese people in terms of family reunions," said Li Boqing, deputy mayor of Sanya. "And Sanya is the only place where Chinese people can enjoy the atmosphere of the Spring Festival and tropical seaside scenery."

Hotel room prices also grew 25 percent on average compared to last year, according to statistics provided by the municipal government.

(China Daily March 2, 2009)

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