As the number of tourists slumps across Asia and even the world, Chinese travelers began to exhibit unprecedented enthusiasm for tourism during the past week-long National Day holidays.
The number of tourists in 87 major scenic spots across the country reached 9.86 million last week, with ticket incomes surpassing 270 million yuan (US$32.53 million). Meanwhile, tourists witnessed a good tourism order, with no serious accident reported during the period.
"Chinese people have celebrated a safe golden tourism week," said Li Renzhi, director general of Industry Management Department of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
The Chinese government has paid great attention to tourism safety. In September, the CNTA began to cooperate with different ministries in maintaining the tourism order and inspect several areas including Hainan and Hunan provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
"We really enjoyed ourselves in Sanya city. Before we came, some friends were a bit worried about our safety. But when we said we were traveling to China, they were more assured," said Bob Lee, a Canadian tourist, in China's southern Hainan Province.
Li Renzhi said that China considers safety as the lifeline of tourism industry. To enhance the safety awareness will help build up tourists' confidence from home and abroad.
Francisco, a Spanish representative taking part in the World Tourism Day conference in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province, said that safety can not only promote the development of tourism itself but also draw more investment to the industry.
"The tense international situation has not yet posed a threat to China's tourism industry," said Mike Sharrocks, representative of the World Tourism Organization.
In the first eight months, China received 21 million international tourist arrivals, up 11.4 percent compared with the same period of last year.
(China Daily 10/10/2001)