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Tourism recovers along with economy
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The tourism industry is under siege, in the nicest possible way, for the coming National Day holiday.

"Booked out" is already a common response to package inquiries from tour agencies.

Only Taiwan and Southeast Asia-bound packages were still available, the agencies said yesterday.

However, they said from October 5 package prices are expected to fall because airline fares and hotel rooms will be cheaper than that during the first half of the eight-day holiday.

Europe and Japan are the two hottest destinations for local tourists despite package prices of 30 to 40 percent more than usual.

"The self-service tour has become increasing popular this year," said Zhao Dexiang, of Shanghai International Travel Service Co. "Japan and Southeast Asian countries are the two hottest individual tour destinations."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Shanghai is one of the biggest individual tourist sources on China's mainland.

In July, more than 470 backpack tourists went to Japan.

The recovering economy has increased tourist activity, agencies said.

"During the last 'Golden Week,' the Spring Festival, people hesitated about travel because of the economic downturn," said Zhang Jianquan, general manager of the Shanghai Travel Service Co. "Now people are more cashed up."

(Shanghai Daily September 8, 2009)

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