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Summit sets high goals for ethnic tourism

By Wang Hongyi and Song Mengxing ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-07-26

 Summit sets high goals for ethnic tourism

An artistic performance celebrates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture in Guizhou province and the first China National Cultural Tourism Qiandongnan Summit. Photos by Yang Jun / China Daily

Plan to combine area's assets and traditions will lead to prosperity

The Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture in Southwest China's Guizhou province has vowed to further boost its tourism industry by combining its unique ethnic characteristics and rich natural resources.

"Qiandongnan prefecture has rich natural resources and unique minority ethnic cultures. The diversified ethnic cultures and ecological environment form prominent advantages and a solid foundation for Qiandongnan to develop a local tourism industry," Li Feiyue, Party chief of the autonomous prefecture said at the opening of the first China National Cultural Tourism Qiandongnan Summit held at Xijiang, Leishan county in the prefecture on July 24.

The summit, which lasted for one day, was part of the prefecture's efforts to promote local ethnic tourism. By attracting internationally noted organizations and experts on ethnic culture tourism to learn more about Guizhou, and especially Qiandongnan, the summit aims to help promote the prefecture's tourism industry, enrich local people and increase the prosperity of the province, the organizers said.

In addition to excellent ethnic festivals, buildings, clothes, songs and dances, the prefecture boasts several world and Chinese intangible cultural heritages, such as the Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group, Miao embroidery and silver ornaments.

The prefecture is also among the country's 28 major forest areas with forest coverage of up to 65 percent. It has 27 national and provincial-level natural protection areas as well as a national geological park.

At the summit, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture was listed as one of China's top 10 tourist destinations for 2016 by the China International Tourism Federation. It was also selected as the country's first ethnic cultural tourism demonstration zone by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.

Summit sets high goals for ethnic tourism

The summit comprised six theme activities, in which government officials and tourism experts discussed methods to develop the industry and promote the prefecture's rich ethnic tourism resources.

Francesco Frangialli, former secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization, said Guizhou will improve its economic level through developing its tourism industry in the future.

Through showcasing the beauty of Guizhou to the world, more tourists can be attracted here, Frangialli said, who is also a consultant for Guizhou's tourism development.

Frangialli also noted it is important for the local government to pay attention to sustainability when designing its tourism industry. He said local traffic and infrastructure facilities should be further improved so as to allow more people to learn about local residents as well as their customs and culture.

Boost Miao ethnic cultural tourism

In recent years, Qiandongnan prefecture has taken a series of measures to promote its tourism sector, especially to further develop the cultures of the Miao and Dong people to boost ethnic tourism.

For example, Leishan county, which is famous for its rich natural resources and Miao ethnic culture, has invested heavily in the development of the local ethnic tourism industry.

Local government has invested 80 million yuan ($11.98 million) in building and renovating local tourism infrastructure. The construction of Langxi (Langde-Xijiang) tourism road has played an important role in boosting the tourism industry in Xijiang town.

Now, the One-Thousand-Household Miao Village in Xijiang, widely recognized as the biggest Miao village in the world, has become a national 4A tourist site, and gained greater popularity around the world.

Official figures showed that by 2015, Xijiang had received more than 3.45 million tourists, with total tourism income reaching 2.66 billion yuan.

To further develop the tourism industry, the prefecture announced a plan to combine tourism with other industries such as mountain agriculture, sports, ethnic medicine and e-commerce.

Li Feiyue said Qiandongnan will carry out its work in line with speech made by Guizhou provincial Party chief Chen Min'er after he listened to the autonomous region's work report recently.

"We will establish a good balance between development and ecology, make good use of ethnic culture and our good ecological environment, try our best to forge a nationally famous ethnic culture tourism destination, and boost better and faster social development," Li said.

Contact the writers through wanghongyi@chinadaily.com.cn.

 Summit sets high goals for ethnic tourism

The One-Thousand-Household Miao village in Xijiang is widely recognized as the biggest Miao village in the world.

 Summit sets high goals for ethnic tourism

Young Miao ethnic women clad in traditional costume greet tourists at their village.

(China Daily 07/26/2016 page15)

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