Lijiang cools a passion for sexy ads that lure visitors

The stunning backdrop in Lijiang, a city in Yunnan province, China.

Lijiang, an ancient town nestling amid a picturesque mountain landscape in Yunnan province, is to curb the use of vulgar publicity stunts related to sex that are used to promote tourism. During the ongoing annual session of the Yunnan legislature, Zhang Zejun, the mayor of Lijiang, said a campaign has been launched to tackle the spread of vulgar advertisements used to lure visitors.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Lijiang, known for its mild temperatures and harmonious fusion of ethnic groups, receives tens of millions of visitors annually.

This has resulted in a boom for the restaurant and accommodations trade.

Advertisements suggesting one-night stands have been used by bars and hostels to attract customers.

Thus, Lijiang is dubbed "the capital of romantic affairs".

Zhang said, "Publicity stunts with sexual innuendo run counter to Lijiang's traditional culture and should be ended."

Wang Jiannan, an official with the Gucheng district government, which initiated the campaign, said it will target logos, posters and videos hinting at sex.

People promoting their businesses by spreading "vulgar culture" at Lijiang's scenic spots will be severely punished.

A monthlong check will be carried out at pubs and inns in the ancient towns of Dayan and Shuhe, and operators who continue to use improper promotional methods will be ordered to close their businesses, Wang said.

To restore traditional culture, the local government is offering subsidies to encourage Lijiang's original residents to continue living in the ancient town. A restoration and maintenance project for ancient buildings is also underway, Zhang said.