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)