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China: Tourism in West Has Dropped

October 31, 2001

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BEIJING (AP) _ Reaction to the Sept. 11 terror attacks has hurt China’s tourism industry, as tens of thousands of visitors cancel trips to its western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.

Some 631 tour groups have canceled Xinjiang trips, Xinhua said. They included travelers from the United States, Italy and Singapore. Thousands more visitors were expected from other parts of China.

Some of the reduction is due to China’s own heightened security in Xinjiang. The government closed the Karakoram Highway to Pakistan, a popular route for backpackers.

Before Sept. 11, Xinjiang had seen a 10 percent increase in tourists this year, Xinhua said. It said the number of domestic visitors to the region jumped 46 percent from January to September.

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