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China Tourism Business Warms up After Snow Chaos

China's beleaguered tourism industry is regaining strength as the spring conditions and clear skies warm up the previously snow-hit regions.

The affected tourism spots have generally restored order and were prepared to receive guests both domestic and foreign, the China Tourism Association (CTA) told Xinhua on Thursday.

Local tourism bureaus in the snow-hit regions were expecting a tourism boom as many of those who had canceled travel plans had decided to reschedule, according to CTA.

In Hunan Province, one of the worst hit provinces, some travel agencies predicted a 30 percent increase in clients in early March, compared with the same period last year.

According to the National Tourism Administration, the winter weather that hit the country for about a month starting in mid January, cost the tourism industry 6.97 billion yuan (about US$968.1 million).

The seven worst-hit provinces, including Guizhou, Hunan, Anhui, and Hubei, had completely or partly ceased its tourism business.

Tourism earnings during February's Spring Festival were down 29.75 percent, compared with the holiday last year.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2008)

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