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Traveling cost down after Spring Festival
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Prices for package tours to China's hottest tourist destinations have dropped by 30 to 50 percent following the Spring Festival, giving tourists with flexible vacation time a golden opportunity for spring travel.


China's tourism during the Spring Festival was greatly hindered by the worst snowstorm in decades that swept through southern and central China in January, forcing many scenic spots to close for safety reasons.


The southern subtropical island of Hainan, unharmed by the snowstorm and a traditional winter getaway, was the only jam-packed tourist spot during the Spring Festival, with tour packages costing as much as 6,000 yuan (830 US dollars).


Now that the Spring Festival holiday is over, prices for tour packages to these tourist spots began to fall dramatically. The price of the travel package to Hainan, for instance, has dropped by 50 percent. Packages to other tourist spots around the country have also dropped by 30 to 50 percent.


Yangyang, manager of Spring International, a Shanghai-based travel agency, said traveling will be fairly cheap from now through the end of March, when a wave of flower-sighting tours drives travel expenses to a new high. 


Since spring is the best season to see wildflowers, travel agencies have seized the opportunity to drive business. Some itineraries now include domestic destinations like Yunnan and Jiangxi Provinces and foreign destinations such as Japan, Holland, and South Korea. 


Insiders estimate that travel costs will continue to climb from April through the end of 2008 with the two new three-day holidays and students' summer holidays.


(CRI February 19, 2008)


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