1988 was a record year for tourism, but the Tiananmen Square massacre in the spring of 1989 brought the tourist trade to an abrupt halt. However, by 1991 the tourists were starting to return. The number of travellers rose to 33 million, of which 3 million were foreigners. 1994 alone saw a 5% rise in the number of visitors, bringing the total to 44 million; 88% were from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, the remainder from elsewhere.
China now has more than 1186 hotels with a rating of 1 Star or better and hence with the corresponding level of amenities.
Peasants and farmers have had to cope with a range of difficulties ranging from floods, soil erosion, drainage and irrigation. 45% of the land has to be irrigated.
With such a relatively small amount of agricultural land it has proved difficult for agricultural productivity to keep pace with the population growth. The problem has been exacerbated as the needs of the population and industry plus the priority of private enterprise over the centrally directed planned economy have led to increased demands on available land. The result of this process is a continuing intensification of farming methods and increasing use of artificial fertilisers. Growers too are turning more and more to high-value produce, the returns on which are greater than on rice and wheat, which have to be sold at low prices fixed by the state. Another factor in the reduction of available farmland is the continuing growth of the desert.