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June 13, 2010

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Cities benefit from Expo

SHANGHAI'S neighboring Jiangsu Province has become a popular destination for Expo visitors, especially those from outside the mainland, a senior provincial official said yesterday.

The Expo has helped boost the province's tourism industry to record levels in May with both visitor numbers and income increasing by more than 20 percent, Zhang Weiguo, Jiangsu's deputy governor, told a press conference in Shanghai for the opening of Jiangsu Province Week.

Suzhou was the most popular destination.

The city, famous for its classical gardens and the Taihu Lake, attracted 12 million tourists in May, said Yuan Ding, deputy director of the Jiangsu Tourism Authority.

Zhouzhuang, Tongli and Luzhi, the three ancient watertowns, were popular especially among foreign visitors.

Zhouzhuang Town received 8 million visitors in May, nearly double that of last year, Yuan said.

Eight cities -- Nanjing, Suzhou, Nantong, Yancheng, Zhenjiang, Xuzhou, Taizhou and Suqian -- are offering discounts to their scenic spots ranging from 20 to 50 percent for tourists showing Expo tickets.

Ticket holders can also get 30 to 60 percent discounts at some hotels and restaurants.

Many other cities, including Shanghai, have also begun offering discounts to Expo entry ticket holders until the end of the Expo Shanghai on October 31.

At 30 major Shanghai tourism attractions, such as Yuyuan Garden, holders of Expo tickets can enjoy a 10 percent discount.

At Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, tourists can enjoy a 10 percent discount by showing their Expo tickets.

Tourists with Expo tickets can also visit 18 scenic zones for free in Xi'an City, and at another 39 attractions, including Lishan National Park and Datang Furong Garden, there are discounts of 20 to 50 percent.

Hotels in Xi'an City are offering 20 percent discounts to Expo visitors.


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