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Tourism in Ningbo entering the leisure era

It has been ten years since the start of "China Tourism Day" and the tourist satisfaction rate for Ningbo has been No. 2 in China for two consecutive years. Every year, over ten travel agencies rank among the top 100 agencies in Zhejiang Province or even in the whole country, and the investment in tourist project construction has reached 100 billion yuan. Over the past five years, tourism in Ningbo has developed in a leap-forward manner. In 2011, the tourist revenue reached 75.13 billion yuan and Ningbo ranked No. 2 in the whole province in terms of tourist economy strength.

In 2006, the total tourist income stood at 31.6 billion yuan. In 2009, Ningbo Municipal Party Committee and Ningbo Government proposed to build Ningbo as the best destination for leisure tourism in the Yangtze River Delta and a first-class tourism city. So far, the tourism industry in Ningbo has greatly improved in terms of both economic output and service quality. Over the past five years, the output of the tourism industry has doubled and the tourist revenue has increased 27.55% year by year on average, higher than national and provincial average.

Service quality continues to improve. During the five years, no major tourist safety accident occurred; Ningbo Tourism Quality Supervision Office received over 1000 complaints and with a 100% completion rate, it helped to save over 570,000 yuan for tourists. In 2011, in the tourist satisfaction assessment of 50 major cities in China, organized by Chinese National Tourism Administration and China Tourism Academy, Ningbo ranked No. 2 for the second consecutive year.

Tourism continues to benefit the citizens. Ningbo Tourist Festival, themed as "traveling is your lifestyle and leisure adds your happiness", is becoming a festival for citizens. The four Festivals from 2008 to 2011 brought about 25.2 tourists to Ningbo and the related tourism consumption reached 21.3 billion yuan. In 2011, "May 19th", the date when the first essay of Xu Xiake's traveling notes was written, was accepted officially as "China Tourism Day", ten years after its first application.   

The standardizing process of tourism continues to speed up. In 2007, Ningbo became the first pilot city in Zhejiang Province to carry out travel agency quality evaluation. In 2008, Ningbo issued the "economy hotel ranking evaluation standard", first local standard of its kind in China. On February 1, 2012, "Ningbo leisure tourist base evaluation rules", the first local standard on leisure tourist base in China, came into effect. Over the past five years, there have been in Ningbo one more 5A-level scenic area, 12 more A-level scenic areas, 11 more agricultural demonstration sports, 3 more provincial eco-tourism demonstration areas, one more provincial eco-tourist area and 22 more provincial star-class village tourist spots.

The investment in tourist project construction entered the "100 billion-yuan era". During the 11th Five-year Plan period, 195 tourist projects started construction with a total investment of 78.7 billion yuan, among which 42 billion yuan were for 134 new projects. In 2011, there were 94 tourist projects under construction and the total investment reached 117.44 billion yuan.

The year 2012 will witness the coming of the era of citizen leisure tourism in Ningbo. There will be 20 five-star hotles and over 220 star hotels, which guarantees Ningbo's leading position in the country in terms of scale and level of star hotel industry. Meanwhile, Ningbo strives to have two more above 3A scenic areas and one more eco-tourism area.

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