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New policy promotes development of Guizhou tourism

By XU LIN in Beijing and YANG JUN in Guiyang | chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: 2022-12-29 Print

Central authorities recently announced the implementation of a plan to support the high-quality development of Guizhou province's culture and tourism industry.

It emphasized that the plan should impart and inherit the spirit of the Long March (1934-36) and revolutionary culture; strengthen the protection and utilization of cultural heritage; improve literary and artistic creation and public service; push forward the digitization of the culture and tourism sector; and promote the province's mountain tourism and ethnic group culture.

The central government plans to build a national cultural park covering the route of the Long March carried out by the Red Army. The park will spread across 15 provinces and regions, including Guizhou.

The newly unveiled scheme attached great importance to building the Guizhou section of the park and protecting the province's Red tourism resources.

The Loushanguan scenic area, a major revolutionary site in Zunyi city, will be at the core of the park, and a memorial hall dedicated to the Long March will be built there.

"Great support from the policy has helped us establish the focus of our work," said Xu Zheng, director of Loushanguan's administrative office. "The park will further develop Loushanguan's Red tourism, which has already improved the lives of locals significantly over the years."

She said Loushanguan organizes different activities related to Red culture, providing more sources for leisure for locals, and that villagers' lives have improved since they began working in tourism-related businesses, which have attracted travelers.

Xu said Loushanguan is developing smart tourism, including digitizing cultural relics for online exhibitions. Local officials also want to establish a unified standard for Redthemed homestays, promote local farm produce among visitors and make creative cultural products.

The plan also stated that Guizhou should build a high-quality tourism product system and focus on the continuous improvement of some of the top scenic areas. Among them is the Baili Dujuan — or Hundred Miles of Rhododendrons — Scenic Area, in Bijie city.

Every spring, different species of rhododendrons pop up and fill the mountains at the site with color. Many tourists visit the area to beat the summer heat, and it is also a destination for sports enthusiasts who can enjoy outdoor activities from running to mountain biking.

"The plan supports Baili Dujuan's efforts to build itself into a high-quality scenic area, making us more confident in doing so. We plan to make it into a health and wellness destination and a tourist center in northwestern Guizhou, drawing visitors from neighboring regions," said Huang Fei, a local tourism bureau official.

The aim is to persuade more tourists to extend their stays at the scenic area so they can tour nearby sites and participate in other activities.

Huang said they will upgrade their tourism products and improve services, including building more high-quality hotels and hot springs. They will invite both State-owned and private enterprises to invest in and manage the scenic area's projects, and will help small and medium businesses such as homestays better serve visitors.

Wu Liyun, an associate professor at Beijing International Studies University's China Academy of Culture and Tourism, said: "The plan will push the development of Guizhou's culture and tourism sector to a new stage, with guidance on aspects such as diversified tourism products and good-quality service. It will serve as an example to other provinces across the country, to encourage more regions to develop their culture and tourism industries based on their unique characteristics and advantages."

She suggested that Guizhou make the best use of its tourism resources and ensure the plan is properly implemented. While constructing the Long March National Cultural Park, the province can combine its rich Red tourism resources to drive the culture and tourism development of regions along the route.

In addition, she said the province can create unique tourism brands and products related to its mountain tourism industry and its exotic ethnic group culture.

"Innovative development is paramount. For example, Guizhou can integrate digital technology and creative content for further development," she said.

Zhao Yandi contributed to this story.

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