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Thanks to its long history, many scenic spots and superb services as well as accommodations, Beijing, the capital of China, ranked number one on the list of 2012 best city for tourism on Chinese mainland, according to a report recently released by Forbes China.
Tourism is known as the "Smokeless Industry" or the "Invisible Trade." It is an emerging economic sector which features less investment and big profits. The industry is not only related to beautiful attractions, but also to a large number of services, including transportation, dining, shopping and entertainment.
With China's rapid development, more and more Chinese have taken to traveling on holidays. According to the 2011 data of China National Tourism Administration, the nation had at that time received 135 million inbound tourists and earned US$48.46 billion in foreign exchange revenues, a 1.2% and 5.8% increase respectively compared to 2010. The number of domestic tourists exceeded 2.64 billion and income reached up to 1.9 trillion yuan (US$304.7 billion), increasing 13.2% and 23.6% respectively compared to the 2010 numbers. Tourism has become one of China's fastest growing industries.
According to the report, this year's rankings are based on six tourist criteria, including the inbound tourism number, the domestic tourism number, tourism foreign exchange earnings, domestic tourism income, the number of star hotels and the number of outstanding scenic spots (rated higher than 4A).
Top 10: Wuhan
Located in Central China, Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, is one of the most prosperous cities in China. With its convenient transportation system, it can be accessed easily from any place across the nation. It is also one of China's most ancient cities, featuring some 3500 years of history. The city can boast numerous scenic spots such as the Hubei Provincial Museum, one of the leading museums in China, which is home to more than 200,000 precious relics; and the Yellow Crane Tower, one of the most famous towers in China. Besides the aforementioned, Hubu Lane and Jiqing Street are the most popular places to enjoy a local snack or pick out some beautiful additions to your wardrobe. Although very hot in summer, people can visit the Wuhan Jiangtan tourist area to indulge in some water games or simply enjoy the area's amazing scenery.