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Province Sees over 70m Visitors


A conference on Shaanxi's tourism industry was held on April 6 in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province .

Northwest China's Shaanxi Province saw more than 70 million visitors in 2006, including more than one million overseas visitors, according to Dong Xianmin, head of the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Administration. "We saw 70.56 million people coming to Shaanxi in 2006, including 1.061 million overseas tourists, up 14.3 percent year on year. The tourism industry recorded a total income of 41.88 billion yuan (US$5.42 billion), up 18.6 percent from 2005, accounting for 9.6 percent of the province's gross domestic products," Dong said. According to Dong, Shaanxi has more than 300 travel agencies and more than 12,000 guides. The province has four five-star, 24 four-star and 135 three-star hotels and 9,800 scenic spots, among which, three are given AAAAA title, the highest rating in China's scenic spots, there are also 18 AAAA spots, 28 AAA spots and 32 spots with lower than AA ratings. The province also has convenient traffic, 25 international airlines can access to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, countries and regions in America and Europe, China's Hong Kong and Macao. To further develop tourism industry, the province plans to strengthen resource integration and structure adjustment and explore connotation of its history and culture in further step, concentrate its efforts on building a batch of key human landscapes, in an effort to improve its overall tourism competitiveness. Shaanxi will focus on development of six major scenic spots, including Xi'an, which is listed as one of the four great ancient capitals of China for it has been the capital of 13 dynasties; Lintong, where is famous for the terra-cotta figures and the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor; Yan'an, a revolutionary sacred place also a place with abundant folkways and has the Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor, who was the first sovereign of civilized China and is recognized as the common ancestor of the Chinese people; Huashan Mountain, the Western Mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains, its craggedness is superior to the other four sacred mountains; Famen Temple, which is renowned for storing the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha, the temple is situated in Famen Town of Fufeng County, about 120 kilometers west of Xi'an, Famen Temple, according to Dong. The province is also striving to develop rural tourism sector with more than 12,000 people obtaining jobs annually by 2010. Net income of farmers involved in rural tourism industry is expected to increase by five percent annually. To attract more visitors to countryside, Shaanxi will improve supporting the development of rural tourism and promote building a rural tourism service system and explore the market and strengthen talent training. During the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-10), the province will pay more attention to infrastructure construction, and the number of beds in hotels will reach more than 650,000. It will quicken the star rating for tourist hotels and plans to have 400 star hotels by 2010. To meet different demand, the province will exert great efforts to develop hotels with special and tailored services. Shaanxi will make great efforts to develop travel agency sector and increase reception capabilities and establish a sound tour wholesaler system. To further standardize the tourism market, the province is drafting new regulations to neaten the market order. By 2010, the province plans to welcome 1.8 million overseas tourists, with an annual growth rate of 14.2 percent, the revenue is expected to reach US$1 billion with an annual growth rate of 17.3 percent. Shaanxi also plans to receive 110 million domestic visitors, an increase of 12.9 percent annually, and total income from tourism industry will hit 82 billion yuan, an increase of 18.4 percent annually.

(Source:China Daily, 2007-04-08)