GUANGZHOU: The ongoing Guangdong International Tourism and Culture Festival has brought joy and plenty of success to the South China province.
The float parade, at 8 pm tonight, will be the last performance event in Guangzhou's downtown. The parade, during the last three days, has received praises from residents and visitors in Guangzhou.
"I like the parade. All floats are much more beautiful than those in the last two years," Wu Weicheng, a Guangzhou resident, said.
This year's parade includes some overseas floats, adding exotic features to it.
Host city Guangzhou will definitely enjoy the largest profit from the festival, according to Ma Xiangcheng, deputy director of Guangzhou Tourism Administration.
He predicts the number of visitors in Guangzhou will reach 100 million by the end of this year.
During the festival, the city prepared 23 sight-seeing ships with special decorations.
Each ship represents a city in Guangdong Province. The decoration is similar to that of the floats that highlights each city's famous tourism destinations.
From 6:30 pm to 10 pm, until November 29, the ships will cruise along the Pearl River. Anyone can get on board the ships with a ticket that costs around 30 yuan. Several docks have ticket offices including Dashatou, Tianzi and Xidi.
The Pan Pearl River Delta (PPRD) Tourism Promotion Fair ended yesterday. A large number of travel agencies from 11 provinces and regions of the PPRD showed up at the fair and worked hard to promote tourism routes.
Some tour agencies said tourism services during the festival are much cheaper than other times of the year.
"There are more than 90 activities at the festival. They greatly increase the attraction of Guangdong's tourism industry. Much more visitors want to come to Guangdong during the festival," Liu Hanwu, a manager of Guangzhou-based Nanhu International Travel Service, said.
He said a lot of travel service companies designed special tour routes for the festival. Visitors can take part in the festival's activities through the special tour routes.
A lot of hotels and tour destinations have offered discount prices to attract visitors.
In the past, November was an off-season for the tourism. Thanks to the festival, the number of visitors has steadily climbed.
Liu said more than 30,000 people have signed up for the company's tour routes this month, up 40 percent from the same period last year. Seventy percent of them chose the special tour routes.
Hami City of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region participated in the promotion fair.
The city has held five promotional events in Guangdong. All of the events were successful.
Last year, 870,000 visitors visited the city. The number in 2005 was 500,000.
In the first 10 months of this year, the number of visitors has hit one million, 60 percent of whom are from Guangdong Province.
Hami's airport will open to the public in the second half of next year. The city hopes it will draw more visitors from Guangdong.
By Liang Qiwen （China Daily ）