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China's Spring Festival tourism remains hot amid economic downturn

Despite the economic downturn, more Chinese choose to spend on traveling during the seven-day Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

Tourists take photos in front of red lanterns that pile up as the head of an ox at the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, on Thursday, January 29, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

According to the office in charge of ministry-level coordination on tourism during national holidays, five days into the Spring Festival holiday, the number of tourists are still rising in many cities and travel spots across the country.

Statistics show that, as of Thursday, travel agencies in the Guangzhou city of south China's economic powerhouse in Guangdong province had organized 123,900 city residents for travel, up 39.45 percent year on year.

Sanya of south China's Hainan Province remains a hot spot for travelers as an average of 96.18 percent of hotel rooms in the city were booked. The hotel reservation in Haikou, capital of Hainan, also reached 81.83 percent.

The office calls on related organizations at all levels to strengthen the security services and regulate market order to ensure the smooth run of golden-week travel.

Besides domestic boom, more Chinese choose to travel abroad.

Earlier reports said a total of 39,377 people in Shanghai, the country's economic hub, would travel abroad between Jan. 21 to Feb. 1, up 5.26 percent year on year, as predicted by the municipal holiday travel office.

The number of people heading for Europe and Australia soared by 30 percent to 40 percent year on year during the holiday, according to the Shanghai Spring International Travel Agency.

Shopping overseas has become more attractive with the appreciation of the Chinese currency yuan and the drop of commodity price overseas, it said.

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