China’s tourism industry reaps golden harvest

China’s “Golden Week” holiday justified its title with a rise in tourism revenue, National Tourism Administration (NTA) statistics showed Sunday.

The country’s 119 major scenic spots received a total of 34.25 million visitors during the eight-day holiday, up 20.96 percent from the corresponding period last year. Tourism income surged by nearly a quarter from 2011 to 1.77 billion yuan (278.39 million U.S. dollars), the NTA said.

The administration said many scenic spots, including the Forbidden City, attracted record volumes of visitors during the longest-ever “Golden Week” bridging the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday.

On Tuesday, 186,000 people visited the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum at the heart of Beijing — the largest single-day number of visitors ever.

The week also witnessed a significant increase in the number of individual road travelers because of the government’s policy that exempts passenger cars from road tolls during the holiday.

The policy resulted in unprecedented traffic and caused heavy congestion on major expressways.

Xinhua