Hangzhou polishes image as a rewarding place to go
Updated: 2016-09-20 07:09
By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai(China Daily)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a well-known holiday location in China, is rising as a world-class tourist destination after successful national-level marketing surrounding the G20 Leaders Summit earlier this month, experts said.
"The Great Wall, pandas, Tibet and the landscapes of the Guilin, are usually what foreigners equate with China. But the promotion of Hangzhou this month high-lighted its picturesque scenery and is likely to attract more foreign visitors," said Yang Yanfeng, a researcher with the China Tourism Academy.
Experts said they believe Hangzhou, which has seen a boom in tourists thronging to popular spots since summit ended on Sept 5, will continue to rise in popularity, especially on weekends and during the coming National Day holiday, which runs from Oct 1 to 7 - and even during Spring Festival in late January.
They said Hangzhou has made several breakthroughs in tourism in recent years that have made it a competitive tourist destination for natural landscapes.
For example, He Jianmin, a professor specializing in tourism management at Shanghai University of Finance, said West Lake has a free-entrance policy - the first for a national 5A-level tourist attraction since 2002.
"We saw ticket prices for many other attractions double or even triple, but Hangzhou sacrificed a loss in ticket revenue for the development of the tourism industry and the service sector as a whole, "He said.
The number of tourists who visited Hangzhou in 2015 more than tripled the number from a decade ago, while revenue from the tourism industry in 2015 was roughly eight times greater, reaching nearly 100 billion yuan ($15 billion), Shanghai-based Xinmin Weekly reported.
Another of Hangzhou's strengths is that it has continued to develop new projects, He said, citing Xixi Wetland, an 11-square-kilo-meter wetland park, as an example.
High standards of urban sanitation and landscaping, as well as widely available mobile payment for purchases, also enhance the city's attractiveness.
Experts said entertainment, such as the summit's breathtaking opening ceremony on West Lake, which combined music, dance and lighting effects, should be performed more often.
Crowds descend on West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Sept 10, the first weekend after the G20 Summit. Li Zhong / For China Daily
Tableware used by the spouses of G20 leaders at a luncheon during the recently concluded G20 Summit is displayed at Louwailou restaurant in Hangzhou. The tableware was an immediate hit with visitors and residents. Lian Guoqing / For China Daily
(China Daily 09/20/2016 page5)