Chengdu eyes becoming world-leading tourism destination
http://english.ourpanda.com/ 2018-08-28 16:50:23
A panda plays at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which has the biggest number of captive pandas in the world. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Chengdu sent a group of passionate football fans to Russia for the World Cup. Their number was 80 percent higher than the number of Chengdu travelers heading to Russia for the same period last year.
The number of people arriving in Chengdu is also increasing.
Thanks to its famous hot pot cuisine, its historical relics and its proximity to giant pandas, Southwest China's Chengdu is becoming increasingly well-known as a destination among savvy tourists around the world.
Earlier this year, the Daily Elite website of the United States named Chengdu one of the top eight "coolest cities" to visit in 2018.
Last year, National Geographic Traveler selected Chengdu as one of the top 21 worldwide destinations.
MasterCard placed Chengdu second among the world's top 20 most dynamic destinations for tourism in 2017, based on the growth in the number of overnight stays by foreign guests.
The giant panda is regarded as a national treasure by the Chinese people. By the end of 2017, Chengdu was home to nearly 184 specimens at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the world's largest giant panda park.
Using leading technology in panda breeding, the base has carried out scientific research with 16 countries and regions around the world.
In addition to the animals in the park, the results of the fourth national panda survey show that there are 73 wild pandas living in and around Chengdu, giving visitors their best chance to see the animals in their natural habitat.
The city has also determined to burnish its brand as the world’s panda capital by providing more panda-themed tourism projects.
The Chinese-French Chengdu Giant Panda Eco-Creative Industrial Park project has started development beside the already established research base.
Once ecompleted it will be the only panda-themed project around the world focused not only on the precious animals, but also on their natural and human environments and the science and arts related to them. The park will entertain and educate, and its life health and green ecological industries will help the pandas prosper, according to Chengdu Culture and Tourism Group, one of the Chinese companies responsible for the project.
Besides panda culture, Chengdu attracts tourists with its long history, charming landscape, and abudance of tourism resources.
Known as the birthplace of Sichuan cuisine, one of China's four major food groups, Chengdu was the first city in Asia to be awarded the title of "city of gastronomy" by UNESCO.
Among the other attractions on offer are world heritage sites such as the Taoist shrine Qingcheng Mountain and the Dujianyan Irrigation System, which was built more than 2,200 years ago and is still in service today.
The Jinsha archeological site is considered by archeologists a remnant of Sichuan's first civilization, which can be traced back 3,000 years.
A total of 22 cultural treasures including Sichuan Opera and Shu embroidery developed in Chengdu and have been listed as China Intangible Cultural Heritages.
Picturesque Kuanzhai Alleys in Chengdu attracts 10 million tourists every year. [Photo provided to China Daily]
The well-preserved ancient compound Kuanzhai Alleys is known as the "sole example" of North China's Hutong culture, which became embedded in the architecture of South China. It attracts 10 million visits every year.
In future the landscape of Kuanzhai Alleys will be enriched by the construction of an arts theatre and other creative cultural projects.
Through cultivating a variety of industrial clusters with space reserved for culture city leaders are paving a way to merge the historic sites into the city's core functional areas, display its glorious past and at the same time provide public recreational facilities.
Although Chengdu has a year-round warm climate and spring-like season, the Xiling Snown Mountain, located within 100 kilometers of the downtown area in Chengdu, is equipped with high-quality ski facilities every bit as good as the Sochi ski resorts in Russia.
As Chengdu has expanded its presence in the outside world in recent years it has promoted its tourism brand.
Its overseas marketing network extends across four continents, and it has established tourism centers in San Francisco, Paris, Moscow and Seoul.
Chengdu was also the first city in West China to carry out a tax rebate policy. Foreign travelers can enjoy an 11 percent tax rebate if they spend more than 500 yuan in the same shop on a single day.
In accordance with the Overall Urban Development Plan of Chengdu (2016-35), the provincial capital expects to become a world-class city through sustainable development by 2050. And it has rolled out a further goal – to become a world-class tourist destination across the globe.
To this end, Chengdu is constructing major tourism product systems in heritage sightseeing, leisure, shopping, food tasting, conferences and exhibitions, creative culture and healthcare tourism.
And it will strive to upgrading the local tourism infrastructure and public facilities to provide better services for visitors.
According to the city plan by 2020 the total number of tourists in Chengdu is to reach 234 million, generating revenue of 450 billion yuan. And the proportion of the city’s GDP arising from tourism is anticipated to be 11.24 percent.
By 2035, Chengdu will be a worldwide famous tourist city and a tourist radiation center in the Asia and Pacific region.