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        CRI听力:Guilin upgrades travel industry by combining culture with tourism

        Source: CRI    2018-12-11  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

        The city of Guilin in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has long been famous among tourists for its natural beauty. In recent years, local government in the region has given a boost to its potential as a tourist destination by promoting the city's rich cultural history.

        Guilin has an ancient civilization that dates back 2,000 years. Since 2004, local government in the region has been working to implement a strategy that aims to protect local historical sites, and to explore their value as tourism destinations.

        One of these sites is the Lingqu Canal in Xing'an County. It is an ancient structure that connects two major waterways, the Xiangjiang and Lijiang rivers. Built in 214 BC, it's one of the oldest canals in the world, and in August was listed as a World Heritage Irrigation Structure by the non-governmental International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. The canal has now become a local tourist attraction.

        Huang Hongbin, an official with the Xing'an County government, talks about the investment the county has made into conserving the irrigation site.

        "Starting from 2015, we undertook a sweeping renovation of both the south channel and the head of the north channel. In total, we have invested more than 500 million yuan (around 73 million U.S. dollars) into the project, and 200 million yuan was paid for by the county," said Huang.

        Huang said that work has also been done on building a museum about the canal's history.

        Work on historical sites in downtown Xiufeng District is also on the agenda of Guilin authorities.

        Jiang Yuliang, an official with the Xiufeng District, said the municipal government invested 600 million yuan (about 100 million U.S. dollars) in 2013 into building a scenic area in the district. Jiang said the scenic area encompasses three sites. They are an old tower that has been rebuilt, a palace that belonged to an ancient prince, and several old streets.

        "Cultural elements are reflected in every scenic spot in the area, which deeply integrates tourism and culture. Tourists can't help but feel the power of Chinese culture during their visit,” said Jiang.

        And he said that the scenic area has helped the city to attract more tourists from home and abroad since it was opened to the public in 2016.

        The Mayor of Guilin Qin Chuncheng said they plan to implement a new strategy to turn the city into an international resort by leveraging the city's cultural history. Qin said that more than 80 million visits were made to Guilin last year, including 20 million by overseas tourists. And he said that the local tourism industry has a good momentum towards growth.

        "From January to September this year, up to 80 million trips were made to our city, an increase of 22 percent year-on-year. Tourist consumption totaled just over 100 billion yuan (around 15 billion U.S. dollars), up 36 percent year-on-year," said Qin.

        The mayor said that the city expects to see more than 100 million visits by tourists this year.


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