LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s tourism industry has suffered a major blow, with the number of visitors to the city of Nanjing dropping to just 6.6 million for the first time in a decade, according to official figures.
The government also said the number was down to 7.3 million people, a fall of more than one million people compared to the previous year.
Visitors to the country have been hit hard by the economic crisis, with demand for accommodation dropping by about 70 percent last year.
Tourism has been a key source of growth for China, which was hoping to attract tourists as it ramps up to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Its efforts have struggled to meet the expected surge in demand from the world’s second-biggest economy, which has been unable to lift a ballooning debt load and slash its budget deficit.
The fall in visitors is the latest sign that Beijing is feeling the strain of its own slowdown.
Last month, Beijing’s economy contracted 2.6 percent in the third quarter, the biggest decline in seven years.
Its government said it planned to raise revenue by $2 billion by the end of the year to meet debt repayments of $3.5 billion by March.(Reporting by Claire Bernish; Editing by David Stamp)