LANZHOU, Jan. 11 -- The renowned world heritage site Mogao Grottoes in northwest China's Gansu province has reported record high visitor numbers for 2011.
One of the country's three major Buddhist art treasures, the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang received 680,000 tourists in 2011, up 23.6 percent from 550,000 in 2010, according to the Dunhuang Academy, which is in charge of the research, protection and management of the heritage site, in a statement Wednesday.
Tourist numbers fell in 2008 and 2009 due to the global financial crisis, but started to recover in 2010, according to the statement.
During the week-long National Day holidays in early October, the world heritage site received more than 10,000 visitors a day on average, a record daily volume.
Even in December, during the off-peak tourist season, daily numbers averaged 200, double the figure in the same period a year ago.
The 1,600-year-old Mogao Grottoes, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, became China's first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. It has more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes in over 700 caves spread across about 1,600 meters along a hill.