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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: July 5, 2008 NO. 28 JUL. 10, 2008
Out of the Valley
Sichuan Province is struggling to rejuvenate its tourism industry, and its capital city Chengdu sets a good example in this regard

earthquakeIdentifying the importance of tourism rejuvenation in the overall post-earthquake reconstruction, Deng said, "Recovering tourism in Chengdu is to recover people's confidence in Chengdu. Only then can we truly push forward agriculture and the industrial sector." Deng believes that every tourist to Chengdu makes a contribution to Sichuan's reconstruction in some way.

The campaign has worked well so far with Chengdu receiving tour groups from many Chinese provinces, the United States and Europe.

Many city tourism administrations and large national tour agencies have signed memorandums of cooperation with Chengdu Tourism Administration to promote "charity tours to Sichuan" to their local clients. These aim to help with economic recovery in the earthquake zone.

Fan Xiao, a geologist and expert on Sichuan tourism, said during an interview with China Business News, "The earthquake has damaged the tourism industrial chain of catering and hotel industries, as well as facilities in scenic areas, and left a psychological shadow on the minds of many tourists. This demands that the government should attach great importance to the safety of tourists during reconstruction."

Zhang, nonetheless, believes that from all the destruction caused by the quake something good may come, as the subsequent publicity has helped to promote Sichuan internationally as a tourist destination. He said no foreign tourist was injured or killed and more than 20 helicopters and over 100 buses were mobilized to evacuate 649 tour groups from Sichuan during the earthquake.

"After the earthquake, many tour guides heroically led their clients walking for days to get out of the deadly valley amid the aftershocks. Sichuan tourism will also walk out of the valley I believe."

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