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Trees, fresh air lure travelers to forest parks

Xinhua | Updated: 2015-10-14 07:40

Trees, fresh air lure travelers to forest parks

Tourists visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province. Provided to China Daily

China's forestry tourism is seeing rapid growth and there is huge potential in the future, a senior forestry official said on Saturday. The value of such tourism was 650 billion yuan ($103 billion) in 2014, accounting for one-fifth of the country's tourism revenue, says Zhang Yongli, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration.

The rapid development of the forestry-tourism sector shows its huge potential and wide prospects, he said at the opening of the country's forestry tourism festival in central Wuhan city.

Visiting forests for a breath of fresh air and relaxation has become increasingly popular among China's urban dwellers.

Forest tourist numbers reached 910 million last year in China, or one-fourth of the country's total domestic tourists, statistics with the administration show.

At the end of 2014, China had more than 8,500 forestry-tourism sites and had built 3,101 forest parks nationwide.

China's policy to preserve State-owned forests will bring new opportunities for tourism, says Zhong Yongde, a professor in tourism at the Central South University of Forestry and Technology.

He said it was important to develop forestry tourism effectively to avoid damaging the natural landscape.

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