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Inbound tourism popular during National Day holiday: survey
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The China National Tourism Administration has found in an online survey that inbound tourism would gain steam during the 7-day National Day holiday.

About 33 percent of the 14,666 people planned outgoings to downtown or suburban areas, while another 24 percent surveyed intended to go sightseeing in other provinces.

The number of outbound tourists is surprisingly small as only 3 percent of the surveyed said they would visit overseas destinations during the national week.

Among domestic destinations, Beijing, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Shandong and Gaungdong are the five most popular.

For outbound tourists, the hottest destinations are Hong Kong and Macao.

Another survey conducted by Ctrip.com, a leading travel agent in China, also shows that more than half of the 1,000 people surveyed prefer traveling in the country, with Beijing as the most popular destination.

Beijing opened the Olympic Green to the public on September 29 to correspond with the tide of tourism. The park in northern Beijing is expected to see a total of 250,000 tourists each day during the National Day holiday, according to Zhang Huiguang, director with the Beijing Tourism Bureau.

The iconic National Stadium and the National Aquatic Center, also known as the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, is also open to ticket-holders. Ticket prices range from 20 yuan (2.93 U.S. dollars) to 50 yuan.

Other popular tourist destinations also include Olympic co-host cities such as Shanghai and Qingdao.

Insiders attributed the expected inbound travel fever to the cheap prices of domestic tours.

Prices of domestic tours have been cut to attract tourists because the tourist attractions and travel agencies suffered huge losses in the first half of this year ravaged by the unprecedented snowstorms in February and the May-12 earthquake hit in Sichuan Province.

The travel rush has added pressure to China's transport system. Wang Yongping, spokesman for the Ministry of Railways said 57 million people are predicted to be transported this week, an increase of 7.57 million from the same period last year.

Some 55.6 million traveled on roads on Monday, the first day of the holiday, a rise of 5.3 percent from last year, according to the Ministry of Communications.

(Xinhua News Agency October 1, 2008)

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