Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Tuesday, June 28 2022 - 08:56
After becoming World Natural Heritage Site for 15 years, Chongqing's Wulong aims for global tourism destination in latest entrepreneurial attempt
CHONGQING, June 27, 2022 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

In order to continuously leverage the brand value of the World Natural Heritage 
Site and better build an exchange bridge to introduce Wulong to the world, a 
conference to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Wulong Karst's successful 
inclusion into the World Natural Heritage List was held in Wulong District, 
southwest China's Chongqing. The conference focuses on the strict protection, 
continuous inheritance and sustainable utilization of the precious site, 
according to the Publicity Department of Wulong District, Chongqing 

Wulong, located in the lower reaches of Wujiang River in the southeast of 
Chongqing, enjoys convenient transportation such as roads, railways, waterways 
and civil airports.

In 1994, marked by the opening of Furong Cave to the public, Wulong tourism 
started to grow. In 2007, the Wulong Karst became the first World Natural 
Heritage Site in Chongqing. In 2015, it was honored as a model city in 
sustainable development by the United Nations. In 2008, Wulong started its 
second entrepreneurial attempt in tourism with the main goal of increasing the 
total number of tourists and strengthening the tourism economy. At present, 
Wulong District is a World Natural Heritage Site, a national tourism resort, 
and a national 5A tourist attraction, among others.

"Wulong has stayed firm in leveraging the natural heritage to empower tourism 
industry, which provides a local example of transforming and utilizing natural 
heritage value to improve people's livelihood," a senior official of Wulong 
District said. 

Wulong received 40.7 million visits in 2021, 20 times that of 2008, while the 
overall tourism income reached 19.73 billion yuan, 19.6 times that of 2008. The 
sustainable development of tourism industry in Wulong has brought great 
economic, social and ecological benefits, forming a good circular interaction  
with natural heritage protection.

Yuan Daoxian, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that in 
the past 15 years, Wulong has undergone sea changes, with impressive social, 
economic and cultural achievements. These are closely related to the successful 
inclusion into the World Natural Heritage List and Wulong's efforts in heritage 
protection and management.

With the stratification and individuation of tourism consumption demand and the 
specialization and sophistication of tourism development model, tourism 
industry has undergone all-round and comprehensive changes. In order to 
effectively respond to new challenges, in February this year, Wulong District 
launched the third entrepreneurial attempt in developing local tourism, which 
focused on going global. The local government has decided to speed up the 
development of Wulong into a world-renowned tourism destination and a green 
development innovation demonstration area.

Wulong has developed a plan to help local tourism go global, with 165 cultural 
tourism projects totaling 140.6 billion yuan in investment value. The plan 
proposed to build six industrial chains, including research, sports, art, 
health care, marriage and services, and promote the deep integration of tourism 
with industry, agriculture, construction and modern services.

The latest tourism development campaign no long just seeks to increase the 
number of tourists, but to improve the tourism quality and efficiency, so as to 
achieve common prosperity driven by tourism. Since the implementation, the 
campaign has achieved noticeable results. From January to May this year, Wulong 
received 14.85 million visits, up 11.5 percent year on year, and its overall 
tourism income reached 6.53 billion yuan, up 12.7 percent  year on year.

Since the successful inclusion into the World Natural Heritage List, Wulong has 
made great efforts to make the natural heritage a global fame. The Furong Cave 
has formed a sister park with the Mammoth Cave in the United States and the 
Clamouse Cave in France. The Fairy Mountain signed a contract with Swiss 
Jungfrau and successfully held international and domestic academic conferences 
such as the 14th national cave academic conference. Wulong has established 
friendly and cooperative relations with six cities and regions, including 
Switzerland's Grindelwald and Italy's Subiaco, and expanded the circle of 
friends of international friendship cities. The popularity and influence of 
Wulong's karst world natural heritage are constantly expanding.

Source: The Publicity Department of Wulong District, Chongqing Municipality