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Region profits through Spring Festival visitors

Updated:2019-03-06 10:40:07   China Daily

The Lijiang region of Yangtze River First Bay is located at the south of Shangri-La, Yunnan province. Provided to China Daily

People love the rural area for its heritage sites, cozy climate, varied culture, high-end accommodation

Tourists poured into Lijiang in Southwest China's Yunnan province over the seven-day Spring Festival, raising 1.47 billion yuan ($220 million) in revenue, an increase of 58.56 percent over the same period last year.

Tourism sites in the city hosted a total of 1.45 million visits during the period, up 78.54 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from the officials.

Lijiang lies where Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet meet. More than 10 ethnic groups such as the Naxi, Tibetan and Bai live there, giving rise to a mix of architecture, arts, clothing, customs, crafts and other culture.

Moreover, the temperate climate and beautiful scenery have made Lijiang an attractive tourist destination.

Around the city, there are 104 scenic spots, including the snow-covered Yulong Snow Mountain, the Laojun Mountain tourist resort and Lugu Lake.

Though endowed with the natural resources to attract tourism, it was not easy for the city to transform them into an income stream at first.

Zheng Yi, mayor of Lijiang, said that to develop tourism, the most practical, long-term and advantageous path is to expand and strengthen its industrial chain and related products.

Tourism is an industry without clear borders, said Zheng.

"Therefore, it was sensible to give way to its leading role in the local economy, let tourism drive other industries and then promote high-quality development of Lijiang," Zheng said.

Left: The Lijiang Ancient Town lies underneath the Yulong Snow Mountain. Wang Zhanyun For China Daily

Right: Lijiang Lanyue Valley, known as Baishui River in the past, looks like a crescent moon with blue color. Provided to China Daily

The development of tourism in Lijiang started in the early 1990s. In the following years, the local government strived to improve local air transport and have the world cultural heritage of Lijiang Ancient Town declared. This made it possible for the leap forward in development.

From 1995 to 2017, the number of visitors to Lijiang increased 48.2 times, from 845,000 to 40.69 million. Total tourism income increased 249.1 times, from 330 million yuan to 82.19 billion yuan.

Over the past 20 years, tourism has proved to be the leading industry in Lijiang, Zheng said.

Since 2017, the Lijiang city government has been promoting 22 provincial-level and 28 city-level municipal regulations and measures to coordinate the tourism market and improve management services.

On Sep 29, 2017, Yunnan province unveiled "visiting Yunnan on a cell phone." Through the online app, visitors can preview tourism routes and read reviews, book hotels and search for services.

As of the end of 2018, all the A-level scenic spots in the city were on the platform with infrastructure information being uploaded, which included 170 public toilets and 32 A-level parking lots.

Lijiang received 46.43 million tourists from home and abroad in 2018, an increase of 14.1 percent over the same period in 2017. Among them, there were 1.19 million overseas tourists. That year, the tourism industry contributed 99.85 billion yuan to the local economy, an increase of 21.48 percent year-on-year.

Zheng said that in the future, the local government will strive to build Lijiang into a hub city in the Shangri-La tourism area and a national tourism demonstration area with world-class attractions.

Editor: John Li

Keywords:   Lijiang tourists