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More than 178 Mln Chinese Travel During 'Golden Week' Holiday

More than 178 million Chinese traveled within the country during the National Day holiday week, up 22.1 percent on the same period last year, according to the China National Tourism Administration and the National Bureau of Statistics.

The holiday, known as a "golden week", ran from September 29 to October 5 to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Tourism revenue during the week amounted to 79.6 billion yuan (US$11.65 billion), up 24.2 percent. Per-capita spending averaged 448 yuan.

The revenue of the aviation industry reached 3.93 billion yuan, up 33.8 percent, and that of the railways 1.99 billion yuan, up 35percent.

Figures from the National Tourism Administration (NTA) showed the country's 119 major tourist destinations received more than 18.29 million visitors, an increase of 13.2 percent from a year earlier.

The NTA said Beijing and Olympic co-host cities like Qingdao and Shanghai witnessed a surge of tourists.

Beijing municipal bureau of tourism said on Sunday that the city had 35 percent more tourists, many of whom visited Olympic venues.

At least 8.02 million people visited Beijing from September 29 to October 5, including 2.35 million overseas visitors, bringing 5.25 billion yuan in tourist revenue, up 27 percent from the previous National Day holiday.

The Olympic Park, home to the Bird's Nest National Stadium and Water Cube Aquatics Center, attracted more than 2.82 million visitors.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said the country's airlines carried 4.33 million passengers during the Golden Week, up 14.8 percent, on 33,416 flights, an increase of 8 percent.

Not everyone enjoyed the week off. The NTA said tourism authorities across the country received 279 complaints from tourists.

Four tourist-related accidents were reported. Two tourists died and four were injured.

Another two tourists are missing after they swam without permission in a no-swimming area off the southern Guangdong Province on October 4.

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2008)

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