Shanxi opens its doors
Updated: 2015-09-16 08:17
By Yang Feiyue and Sun Ruisheng(China Daily)
Yungang Grottos, which is among major tourist attractions in Shanxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]
He's company has brought tourists to many sites in Shanxi from North Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
The number of tourists from South Korea and Malaysia to Shanxi witnessed a 20-percent growth after a global buyer's meeting last October, He Zhiyong claims. His company has been talking with travel agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco to bring US tourists to Shanxi via Beijing next year.
The development of high-speed rails connecting Beijing, Shanxi province's capital city Taiyuan and Shaanxi province's capital city Xi'an has played an important role in boosting the tourism business in Shanxi. The rails have not only shortened travel times to just a few hours but also delivered a refreshing experience for travelers abroad, He explains.
"We'll rely on foreign tourists to Beijing and encourage them to visit Shanxi by taking the high-speed rail."
Foreigners are especially interested in Shanxi's folk customs and ancient towns. They often stay at Pingyao for two to three days, and they are fascinated by the fact that many locals still live in the ancient city.
The morning food market fair and private shops are among the favorite stops for foreigners, He says.
Jessica Arjona from ICU Viajes SA, a travel agency based in Spain, was impressed by Pingyao ancient city among other tourist sites that include Jinci and Hanging temples.
"We've always seen big cities when we visit China, and it's rare to see a small county like Pingyao, with ancient Chinese elements."
Her company has only taken a dozen Spanish people to Shanxi so far this year, since their operations here are just beginning, she explains.
"We would plan to bring more tourists from Spain after getting a full view of Shanxi's tourism resources this time."
C.K. Cheng, a senior agent with the Canada-based China Travel Service Inc, says that his company began to take Canadian residents to Shanxi eight years ago.
"Our guests love to see those ancient towns and villages in Shanxi, and get to know the ancient culture and history," Cheng explains.
Jinci Temple and Pingyao ancient city are popular among Canadian travelers, and Cheng's company now annually arranges for 50 to 80 Canadians to tour Shanxi and its collection of tourism sites that are near enough to each other for tourists to conveniently explore.