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Tourism in dire need of modernization, experts say

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-12-26 10:25

He Yuhan said she was both happy and disappointed while visiting Detian Waterfall on the China-Vietnam border 11 years after her first visit. Back in 2002, the woman, then 15, traveled from Beijing to admire the breathtaking scenery.

Located in Daxin county in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, it is the biggest cross-border waterfall in Asia.

But the scenic area did not show any improvements over the decade, according to He, who called the local tourism industry poor. It is a situation, experts said, shared to too many scenic spots in China.

He said it took her more than three hours by bus to reach her destination after arriving in Nanning, Guangxi’s regional capital. That’s no better than a decade ago.

Adding to her disappointment was a lack of facilities such as restaurants and good places to rest. The only visible change was retailers selling Vietnamese perfume, she said.

“I could not find a good place to rest after more than two hours of walking, and I had to go back to Daxin County to have supper, which is far from the scenic area,” He said.

A Daxin government official, who did not want to be named, said the infrastructure for the county’s tourism industry is failing to meet the demand due to an underdeveloped economy and a lack of comprehensive management in the sector.

“Many tourists traveling on their own have to rent chartered buses in groups with ridiculously high prices to get to Detian Waterfall,” said the official.

Li Yanqin, associate professor with the School of Management of Minzu University of China, said Daxin’s problems are quite common, with many cities and scenic areas struggling to upgrade their tourism industry.

“Many places in China have not fully developed their tourism resources, which makes them less competitive with other counties and regions in the world,” Li said.

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