Three Million Visit Confucius's Birthplace in 2001

More than 3.2million local and overseas travelers visited Qufu,Confucius's birthplace in east China's Shandong Province in 2001.

This number was 20percent more than the previous year,according to the local tourist department.Tourism revenue hit onebillion yuan (US$120million).

Confucius,a philosopher who lived in the 5th century BC,is world-renowned figure.His doctrine which advocates "benevolence"dominated China's politics for more than 2,000years.

After Confucius's death in 478BC,an emperor converted Confucius's houses into temples,and the city eventually became a sacred place for Chinese from throughout the world.

Local tourism authorities have announced that upcoming Spring Festival,the traditional Chinese lunar new year,special programs will be held for overseas Chinese and foreign travelers.They can visit Confucius's temples and tomb,and spend festival days featuring traditional Chinese custom.

( January 24, 2002)