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China calls for greater tourism co-op with Russia

Updated: 2013-11-23 16:10
( Xinhua)

ST. PETERSBURG -- China will continue to expand tourism cooperation with Russia and will make more efforts to promote less developed Chinese cities with huge tourist resources among Russian travelers, said chairman of China's National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Shao Qiwei Friday.

While addressing the First China-Russia Culture and Tourism Forum held here, Shao said both countries have a long history and rich culture, which contributes to the sustainable development of tourism industries in the two nations.

"As for promoting tourism, an important carrier of culture, we plan to refocus from such developed cities as Beijing and Shanghai to those less developed ones," Shao told Xinhua.

The Forum came as the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia concluded Friday in the famed Mariinsky Theatre, where a spectacular closing ceremony, a two-hour concert of Chinese traditional music, was staged.

The Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia was part of the "China- Russia Tourism Year" program which began last year with the Year of Russia Tourism in China, aiming to foster tourism ties and humanistic exchanges between the two neighboring nations.

In a letter of congratulations to the closing ceremony of the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia held in St. Petersburg Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hailed the "China-Russia Tourism Year" program a success and called it a feat in advancing bilateral ties.

The Chinese premier said he hoped the two neighbors would continue to expand tourism cooperation and help improve the well- being of the two peoples.

"We keenly invite more Russian friends to visit China and believe more Chinese nationals will travel to Russia," Premier Li wrote in his letter.

China has 4,295 cultural relics enjoying state protection and 3,866 museums distributed across the country, said Shao, who said the government is set to develop tourism not only to boost the economy, but to revive and retain the vitality of some endangered relics.