Huangguoshu Waterfall is a scenic landmark in Anshun, Guizhou province. The city is set to host the 10th Tourism Development Convention on July 9.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]
Infrastructure improvements get city on track to become top travel destination, Yang Jun and Zhao Kai report.
With the 10th Tourism Development Convention slated to start on July 9, host city Anshun is garnering a lot of attention.
The city in Southwest China’s Guizhou province has long been a popular destination for travelers and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from China and abroad every year.
It boasts attractive natural scenery and features including Huangguoshu Waterfall — the largest of its kind in Asia — and Dragon Palace, one of the world’s largest groups of water-eroded caves, as well as 600-year-old villages.
In 2006, Guizhou held its first provincial tourism development convention in Anshun to accelerate the growth of the sector and help build itself into a “world-class tourism destination”.
Since then, through improved infrastructure and industrial upgrading, the city has become a popular tourist destination in Guizhou province.
Rice varieties spell out the Chinese character “dragon” in cursive script at Dragon Palace, a popular tourist destination in Anshun. [Photo/Provided to China Daily]
Statistics show Anshun received 31.76 million tourists in 2014, generating 30.7 billion yuan ($4.95 billion) in tourism revenue. Both figures were greatly increased from 2006.
“Anshun has an appealing natural environment and climate. It is rich in resources, historical sites and ethnic culture. These are all key elements for the tourism industry,” said Zhou Jiankun, Party chief of Anshun. He added that the city would keep adapting to be creative and competitive to further improve the tourism industry.
The city’s transport network expansion will play an important role in the process, as it saves on the amount of time spent on roads and provides a more convenient travel experience, Zhou said.
The expanded road network also gives tourists more access to explore the beauty of Anshun, he added.
“We hope every tourist will have the chance to fall in love with the city,” said Zhou, who also mentioned that tourism has become a pillar industry in the city.
The Baling River Bridge, which is more than 2,200 meters long and 370 meters high, spans the Baling River Valley. [Photo/Provided to China Daily]
With the Guiyang-Guangzhou and Guiyang-Changsha high-speed railways, a series of expressways connecting scenic spots in Anshun to neighboring provinces and direct flights to major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Anshun has become a regional transportation hub.
The city has also worked to improve its infrastructure and hospitality services for tourists.
In recent years, a number of hotels and resorts have been established in scenic spot areas.
By combining natural scenes and urban areas, Anshun has greatly increased its attraction for tourists. For 53-year-old Zhang Wanyuan, his third visit to Huangguoshu Waterfall in June was quite different from those in the past.
“The scenic area has become bigger and more beautiful, and there are more options of how to spend your time,” said Zhang, who last visited Huangguoshu in 2006 and 1998.
Langtang village in a suburb of Anshun is being utilized as a model site for a countryside development program.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]
Anshun is working with telecommunication companies to provide big data and smart tourism services, said Zeng Yongtao, mayor of Anshun.
Tourists can use online services for consulting, booking and pre-ordering before or during their journeys, Zeng said.
He added that being able to receive notifications via smart devices for the weather or traffic conditions would also help visitors plan their days and routes.
“The richness of natural and cultural resources, combined with the comfortable climate and convenient transportation are the biggest advantages we have to boost the tourism industry,” said Zhou.
“We would like to see more travel enthusiasts get to know Anshun and enjoy their journeys here — this is our first step to becoming a world-class tourist destination,” he said.