Sichuan Province Reopens to Tourism

As Southwest China's SichuanProvince continues to recover from last month’s earthquake, it has officially reopened part of the region to tourism. The reopened cities and sole prefecture include Zigong, Panzhihua, Luzhou, Suining, Neijiang, Leshan, Nanchong, Yibin, Guang'an, Dazhou, Meishan and Ziyang, and the Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture. Chengdu, the capital of SichuanProvince, had several major attractions damaged in the quake and is now partially reopened to tourists.

Getting tourists back to the region is essential for a full recovery. In 2007, tourism accounted for 11.6 percent of the province’s gross domestic product, and the tourism industry employed 400,000 people. Officials are predicting a full recovery for the area by 2010. In a bid to pump up business, visitors can expect such perks as free admission to tourist sites, expanded air service and bargains on hotels and transportation.

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