The China National Tourism Administration has announced that it will give extensive support to the Sichuan earthquake disaster area to revive their tourism industry.
As of May 27, more than 100 star-grade hotels and over 500 tourist attractions have been affected to different degrees by the earthquake; the loss of Sichuan's tourism sector exceeded RMB70 billion, equivalent to half of the total tourism revenue of Sichuan in 2007.
Shao Qiwei, director of China National Tourism Administration has emphasized that the earthquake did not affect the essence of Sichuan tourism industry and most of its natural tourism resources and cultural landscapes are still in good condition. The post-earthquake reconstruction in the tourism sector will start soon; those damaged attractions which are recoverable will be restored as well as possible; those that cannot be renovated will be put to other uses.
The CNTA will assign expert teams to the disaster areas to offer assistance in setting up tourism planning and market recovery plans. CNTA also plans to coordinate with each provincial and municipal tourism department and association around China to request all domestic tourism enterprises including hotels, attractions, and travel agencies who have talent requirements to give priority to hiring talent from the disaster areas. Shao suggested that Sichuan's disaster areas pay more attention to the planning of tourism reconstruction and those in good condition to take tourism as the priority industry to develop.
With regard to the end of limits on Sichuan tours, CNTA has not promulgated a confirmed time schedule. At present the priority for the traffic system in Sichuan is to ensure the smooth transportation of relief materials. Shao said that on this basis, those attractions and itineraries with relatively stable conditions will be permitted to open at the proper time.