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China's National Day tourism profits $17.48 bln

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BEIJING, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Tourism revenue in China reached 116.6 billion yuan (17.48 billion U.S. dollars) during the National Day week, an increase of 32.4 percent year on year, official data showed Friday.

Scenic spots around China received a total of 254 million tourists during the seven-day break, up 27.1 percent from the same period last year, the National Tourism Administration (NTA) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on the NTA's website.

The data showed each tourist spent an average of 459 yuan during the week, with about 93 percent of the revenue going to scenic spots, restaurants and hotels and the remainder on air and train tickets.

To boost domestic demand, Chinese authorities decreed in 1999 that every Chinese worker should enjoy three seven-day mandatory vacations a year, with the other two being the Spring Festival, when Chinese people celebrate the Lunar New Year in January or February, and the Labor Day holiday starting May 1.

Only two of the so-called "golden weeks" remain after the authorities in late 2007 shortened the Labor Day break from a week to three days and introduced three shorter holidays for Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Tomb-Sweeping Day as a way for people to reconnect with Chinese traditions.

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