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Wulong's tourism focus yields economic results

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing | | Updated: 2024-05-29 18:10
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Over the past three decades, Wulong, a once poverty-stricken mountain region in Chongqing, has undergone a face-lift through developing tourism. It now aims to attract more global guests to its unique landscape and rich culture.

"Tourism has been our pillar industry for 30 years. By 2035, Wulong will become a world-famous tourist destination," He Qing, Wulong district Party chief, told China Daily recently.

"We will strictly adhere to the standards of world-class tourist attractions and enhance the international level of tourism products, marketing, facilities and services."

Located about 130 kilometers southeast of Chongqing's urban area, Wulong is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural depth.

In 2007, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its karst landforms and several major attractions, including the Three Natural Bridges, the Gorge Valley, Furong Cave and Xiannyu Mountain.

In the past, the mountainous region was listed among the national-level poverty areas due to limited arable land and lack of infrastructure. Because of the karst topography, the ground is rocky, and the meager soil can hold little water.

Since 1994, tourism has become a major driver of the local economy, making Wulong a model for sustainable development.

Easily accessed by air, rail, road and water, last year, Wulong received 5.46 million ticket-holding visitors, including 91,000 international tourists, generating a total revenue of 520 million yuan ($72 million), all reaching historic highs.

According to the local authorities, over 100,000 people, about one-fourth of the district's 410,000 residents, now work in tourism and related industries.

"Natural ecology is Wulong's greatest wealth and resource. We will never sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth," He said.

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