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Hubei closes all outdoor tourist attractions during holiday
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Central China's Hubei Province has closed all officially authorized outdoor tourist attractions during the Spring Festival, because of snow havoc.

The provincial tourist bureau confirmed on Sunday that among the 133 tourist attractions, only the indoor provincial museum has remained open during the holiday. The remaining tourist sites were closed down because of safety concerns in the snowy weather.

The bureau said that some 800 tourist agencies have suffered badly from refunding customers for cancelled tourist routes.

The province dubbed "a province of thousands of lakes" is famous for such tourist attraction as Three Gorges and Shennongjia Mountains, where legends of "Big Foot" -- the mythical half-man, half-ape creature -- originated.

The agencies have refunded over 40,000 group tour bookers for holiday travel, which has led to direct economic losses of over 3.04 million yuan (422,000 U.S. dollars).

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2008)

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