This time the travel and tourism event is held in the Northwest China’s Gansu province. The past three festivals were held in Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, and Dunhuang respectively.
Each year a different Chinese city is selected to host the Dunhuang Travel Silk Road International Tourism Festival, which is an opportunity for it to market itself as a new travel destination to tourists both in China and abroad, says He Wei, director of Gansu’s provincial tourism bureau and head of the festival’s organizing committee.
As part of the 4th Dunhuang Travel Silk Road International Tourism Festival in the Gansu province, representatives from international tourism organizations, envoys from foreign embassies, travel-industry businessmen and journalists all participated in a promotion of Jiayuguan city on June 16.
Jiayuguan, situated at the center of the Hexi Corridor, is named after the western terminus of the Ming Great Wall, Jiayu Pass. But Jiayuguan is known for more than that. As the “No 1 Strategic Pass in the World” and “the Steel City of West China”, as it’s called, it is the only city to combine both the Great Wall and Silk Road culture.
Jiayuguan has both natural beauty and cultural heritage. Its important sites include the Great Wall’s Jiayu Pass, a world-recognized historical site and one of China’s top ten scenic spots; Qiyi Glacier, the closest glacier to any metropolitan area in Asia; tombs from the Wei Dynasty (AD 220-265) and Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420), which are protected cultural relics; and the Overhanging Great Wall, known as the Badaling of the West.
There’s also a world-class gliding base and an international driving camp for car enthusiasts. He Wei, director of the Gansu provincial tourism bureau, said that Gansu has created a series of policies this year to draw tourists from both near and far to the tourism festival and promotional events.
Accordingly, the Zhejiang China Youth Travel Service (CYTS) will offer 26 Hangzhou-Zhangye chartered flights in July and August. Jiangsu China International Travel Service (CITS) will launch over 40 Nanjing-Jiayuguan chartered flights. And the Gansu Tianyue International Travel Agency has allied with the Gansu Airport Group to operate 18 Lanzhou-Irkutsk (Russia) flights on July 12.
In 2014, the city will give away 30,000 total copies of its “Passport to self-guided travel on the Silk Road” and five million Dunhuang cards to both domestic and international customers. During the tourism festival, visitors can go to sites listed in the passport for free and sites listed in the Dunhuang card for half the regular price.
Liang Hongtao, head of Jiayuguan’s municipal publicity department, said that by 2020, tourist arrivals are expected to reach eight million, with an average annual increase of 25 percent. The income from tourism and its associated industries will reach 4.2 billion yuan ($672.4 million), with an average annual increase of 25 percent.
Additionally, the added value of the culture industry will account for over six percent of the gross regional domestic product and become a pillar of the national economy. Jiayuguan has been building its cultural brand for years.
In November 2011, a conservation project for Jiayu Pass was launched with a total investment of 2.03 billion yuan. Meanwhile, Jiayuguan received a grant of 132 million yuan to be used for six projects including the protection of Jiayu Pass, thus furthering the cultural industry’s development.
Jiayuguan has also hosted important events like the International Triathlon and the China Grand Rally, and by demonstrating its image through these major festivals, it is destined to become an outstanding tourism city in China.