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Sichuan set to welcome tourists
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Tourism in the Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong scenic areas should be back to normal by the end of the month, Sichuan Province's tourism authorities said in Shanghai yesterday.

Local tour agencies said packages would be reasonably priced as the scenic spots and hotels would be offering discounts to tourists.

Zhang Gu, director of the Sichuan Tourism Administrative Bureau, said: "At present, problems still exist in power supply and some other facilities in the hotels around the scenic areas, but they will be fixed well before the Beijing Olympic Games."

Zhang said the earthquake had seriously damaged tourism in the province with losses estimated at up to 50 billion yuan (US$7 billion).

"At present, more than 10,000 tour guides in Sichuan have lost their jobs temporarily," he said.

"Hotels and airlines were also greatly affected."

Zhang said the bureau had designed several itineraries in the province which were not on the quake belt, including trips to the Emei Mountain.

(Shanghai Daily July 26, 2008)

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