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Yunnan Mekong Group embraces eco-tourism

Updated:2019-05-09 16:38:02   Yunnan Gateway

"Last night, I posted on Wechat moments a video of a yawning snake, gaining online likes from my friends." On May 5, Li Xiaomei showed her guests the video at a cabin in Yunnan Wild Animal Zoo.

Li Xiaomei is the chairperson and general manager of Yunnan Mekong Group Co., Ltd.

In the past 24 years, the tourism company has widened its business scopes, while embracing the philosophy of eco-conservation and green development in Yunnan.

A green lifestyle 

"Before meeting you here, I just finished a 9-km run," said Li Xiaomei, smiling. She believes runners have special zest in health and the green lifestyle.

Though born in east China's Fujian, Li is fascinated by the eco-environment in Yunnan. In 2006, Li Xiaomei started working for the group and came to Yunnan.

Yunnan Mekong Group Co., Ltd was established in 1995 by Kingland Group, a famous Chinese listing enterprise specialized in pipelines. It is the first tourist project launched by Zhejiang in east China to support Yunnan in the west. 

The Yunnan company is mainly engaged in eco-tourism, and concurrently involved in biotechnology and tourism real estate, with 15 projects located in Kunming, Pu'er and Xishuangbanna.

The major projects are the Yunnan Wild Animal Zoo, the Pu’er Sun River National Park, the Ancient Tea-Horse Road heritage park, the tourist town near the Ancient Pu'er Tea-Horse Road, the Lesser Panda Manor, Mojiang Northern Tropic Mark Park, Xishuangbanna Primitive Forest Park, Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant Valley, and others.

"Protecting the forest, caring for the animals, and passing down ethnic cultures are the founding missions of the company," said Li Xiaomei. In the past 24 years, the staff members have served as protectors of the 500,000 Chinese acres of virgin forest and the 50,000 plus wild animals. 

"We have much affection for elephants," recalled Li. In 2005, a 3-year-old calf was injured, dying. Thanks to a six-month effort by staff members in the group, the 17cm cut was finally cured. Later, the Yunnan group built up an elephant breeding base and the wildlife rescue center.

Sustained eco-tourism  

“We have teamed up with the CAS Kunming Institute of Botany to build up China’s first biodiversity museum.” Li Xiaomei briefed her creative ideas on green development for tourism.

Green development should be sustainable. To present the world the beautiful landscapes in Yunnan, tourism is the best medium. And sustainable development for tourism needs to balance conservation and development.

“At the backdrop of tourism upgrading, we should focus on creative tourist products, trying to fusing tourism into other sectors, such as education, rural construction and general health service.”

In building the biodiversity museum, the Yunnan group aims to put tourism into education, popular science in particular. "Maybe we have seen snakes, but most of us have no idea of yawning snakes,” said Li.

The Lesser Panda Manor Hotel will join hands with the surrounding villages for further growth. "This year, we have tried, for the third time, to make the hotel and villages listed as destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC),” said Li. 

Tourism plus health is yet another idea embraced by the group. They got inspired by experiences from Germany and Japan, which are pioneers in medical tourism and rehabilitation service.

In the face of the increasingly diversified and personalized needs in the Chinese tourism market, Li believes Yunnan tourism should also seize the opportunities via creative tourist products.

Reporting by Chu Donghua, Li Zha and Li Wenjun; trans-editing by Wang Shixue

Keywords:   Yunnan Mekong Group eco-tourism