Japan has become the most important source of tourism for southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, according to a local source.
Information from the Chengdu tourism bureau revealed the capital of the southwestern Sichuan province received 78,800 overseas tourist arrivals last month, most of them Japanese. More than 25.5 million U.S. dollars was spent by the visitors.
The United States ranked second among the arrivals, followed by the region of Taiwan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Sichuan has many historical and cultural sites, alongside plenty of superb natural scenery, including the Mount Qingcheng, the Dujiangyan ancient irrigation system, Huanglong scenic spot, the Sichuan giant panda sanctuaries, and the Mount Emei scenic area. All the properties have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The province hosted 600,000 Japanese tourists last year, accounting for more than half of its total overseas tourist arrivals. Last month, 62,000 Japanese tourists arrived.
Shen Wanshu, Sichuan Provincial Association of Tourism deputy chief, predicted the number of Japanese arrivals to the province would exceed 800,000 this year.
(CRIENGLISH.com December 29, 2007)