Chengdu, host of the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly, and capital of the Sichuan province, has been described as the ‘Best Tourist City of China’. The Director of the Municipal Tourism Bureau, Duoyang Nemu, explains for the GA Daily the meaning of this title.
Q – Chengdu has been named “Best Tourist City of China” jointly by the World Tourism Organization and the China National Tourism Administration, what are the goals and priorities of its future tourism development?
A – Chengdu has identified the long-term goal of becoming the World’s Tourist Destination City. It is focusing on the following areas: all-around tourism development, optimization of tourism products’ structure, public support service for tourism, “smart tourism” joint development, “Tourism +” industry integration, green/lowcarbon development, opening up and cooperation with foreign entities, international marketing and so on, and is expecting so see results. We hope to comprehensively promote the internationalization of Chengdu’s tourism industry.
Q – Chengdu is the “leisure capital”. It has recently won the title of “China’s Exemplar City for Leisure Tourism “, what do you make of that?
A – This title reflects the sense of happiness of tourists and residents in Chengdu and the quality of life in the city. The people of Chengdu love life, and enjoy life. The beautiful scenery, mild climate, abundant agricultural produce, thriving businesses and rich history gave Chengdu its strong “leisure characteristic”. Chengdu is the birthplace of Taoism, has a rich history of health and sports activities. Colorful recreational activities gave Chengdu the reputation of “Leisure Capital”. In addition to the teahouses that dot its streets and alleys, many wonderful bars, cafés, Sichuan Opera theaters, spa, sports centers and leisure farms make Chengdu a top choice for visitors to relax their bodies and minds. Day and night, Chengdu provides tourists with comfortable and enjoyable leisure options.
Q – Green development is an innovation on the basis of traditional development models. How does tourism in Chengdu implement green development?
A – Chengdu will give full play to the important role of tourism in the areas of stabilizing growth, structure adjustment, promoting reform, benefitting livelihoods, etc. It will utilize the ideas of “all around tourism,” “tourification” of entire industry chains and “tourification” of all factors of production and pursue the goal of making Chengdu tourism bigger and better. Further, it will seize upon the opportunity of being recognized and included in the first batch of the National Ecological Civilization Demonstration Areas, combined with the city’s development plan of “Advance along the East and South, Halt on the West, Re-construct the North, and Improve the Middle”, form a ecological living space that combines “Mountain, City, Lake and Garden” through integrated, green, low-carbon and “cycle economy” development. In this way, it will strengthen the eco-tourism project, establish Chengdu’s international ecotourism brand. It will develop the tourism industry into one that promotes private sector development, urban-rural integration and ecological landscaping. It will develop tourism into a strategic pillar industry and a people-oriented industry that improves the wellbeing of the people.
Q – Can you elaborate on the Green Tourism Standards Certification?
A – With regard to the Green Tourism Standards Certification the process is to follow the strategic path of “ecology first, characteristic development” and insist on the combination of resource development and ecological protection, strengthening and promoting the Green Product System of “National Park, Green Hotels, Green scenic spots, Green Tourism Products”. This way, we will implement the Green Certification scheme for tourism products and enterprises.
Q – In that framework you talk about the champions of ecotourism.
A – Yes, the strategy of developing champions of eco-tourism includes examples such as the Pingle Ancient Town-Tiantai Mountain National 5A-level Tourism Site, Qingcheng Mountain National-level Tourism Resort, Snow-capped Xiling Mountain-Huashui Bay Hot Spring National Tourism Resort and Three-Lakes-One-Mountain National Tourism Resort. We will actively promote the construction of an eco-recreational zone around the city, an international RV camp, and an international RV network. We will also consider developing a number of holiday villages, private accommodations, a start-up town and theme inns, in this way we can promote and upgrade rural tourism. Thirdly, we will implement energy efficiency programs for tourism. We will actively promote green tourism development and Low-carbon operations, develop eco-friendly tourism environment and ecointensive tourism economic system. Fourthly, we will implement the Green Tourism Initiative. With the theme of greenness, we will advocate low-carbon tourism, green consumption, so as to make tourism an advantage industry in a “two-type society”. Fifthly, we will implement Green Tourism Development Incentive Scheme. By implementing “Chengdu City policy measures on the promotion of tourism reform and development” and “Chengdu Tourism Promotion Regulations”, we should be able to ensure the healthy development of green tourism in our city from an institutional level.
Q – Chengdu is the world’s “food capital”, what are the characteristics of its food?
A – The characteristics of Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine are “Spicy, Hot, Tasty and Aromatic”. With more than 6,000 different dishes, each Chengdu/Sichuan dish has its distinct flavor. Moreover, there are authentic French, Japanese, Thai and other cuisines that can be found in Chengdu, providing visitors with more personalized choices.