Areas of Sichuan province damaged by last year’s earthquake will become open to tourists, AP reported, citing state media. The sites have become a draw for visitors, especially during national holidays. “We cannot block the tourists out,” said Wu Mian, deputy director of the Sichuan provincial tourism department. “We also hope the tourists watch their behavior and not hurt the quake survivors’ feelings.” Sites include areas such as Dujiangyan, Pengzhou, Mianzhu and Yingxiu, a town in Wenchuan county, the epicenter of the 7.9 magnitude quake. State media said the Donghekou Earthquake Relics Park, the first memorial park dedicated to the quake, has had more than 260,000 domestic and overseas tourists since it was opened last November. According to figures from the National Tourism Administration, revenues for Sichuan’s tourist industry dropped 10% last year but should reach US$17.5 billion in 2009 the same as before the quake.
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