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East China Shandong province sees booming tourism in 2002

Shandong Province, one of China`s east coast economic powerhouses, received 96.71 million tourists last year…

Shandong Province, one of China`s east coast economic powerhouses, received 96.71 million tourists last year, a figure that exceeds its total population, said a local tourism official.

Zhu Limin, deputy head of the Shandong provincial tourism administration, said domestic tourists accounted for 95.73 million, up 18 percent from 2001, and foreign tourists totaled 976,800, up 17.88 percent.

The tourism industry generated revenue of 61.08 billion yuan (7.36 billion US dollars) in 2002, up 23 percent year-on-year and equivalent to 5.75 percent of the province`s gross domestic product (GDP), according to Zhu.

Of the total earnings, domestic tourism contributed 57.15 billion yuan (6.89 billion US dollars) to the total, while foreign tourists generated 473 million US dollars.

The tourism official attributed the province`s booming tourism industry to Shandong`s development of tourism resources and its construction of new scenic sites. The province now has more than 700 scenic sites.

In the meantime, Shandong has made active efforts to explore additional markets for new tourist sources. In addition to hosting a number of cultural activities in collaboration with organizations such as the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the province has organized promotional missions overseas.

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