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Festival reflects Yichang's robust efforts to energize tourism

Festival reflects Yichang's robust efforts to energize tourism

BEIJING, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A report from China Daily:

The 14th China Yangtze River Three Gorges International Tourism Festival is held in Yichang city of Hubei province from Sept 16 to 27.
The 14th China Yangtze River Three Gorges International Tourism Festival is held in Yichang city of Hubei province from Sept 16 to 27.

The 14th China Yangtze River Three Gorges International Tourism Festival, a renowned annual cultural tourism event, kicked off in Yichang city of Hubei province on Sept 16 and will conclude Sept 27.

With "Green Yangtze River, Magnificent Three Gorges" as its theme, this year's festival covers 18 events, including art shows, cultural tourism activities, a piano music gala, temple fair and swimming competitions while serving as a key platform for accelerating the integrated development and prosperity of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Large-scale performances highlighting nature's grandeur provide an audiovisual feast for festival visitors from China and abroad, reflecting the essence of the local landscape and showcasing Yichang's millennia-old cultural heritage and achievements in the protection of the Yangtze River.

Since 2010, the festival has been held in Hubei and Chongqing municipality on a rotating basis. Over the past decade the Hubei and Chongqing governments have deepened their cooperation in hosting the event and advancing regional economic and social development, preserving the Yangtze River and contributing to the construction of ecological civilization and improving the well-being of residents.

This year Yichang is revving up efforts to bolster high-quality development, channeling major resources into thoughtful cultural tourism initiatives to build a top-tier destination and model city for the protection of the Yangtze River.

Su Haitao, head of Yichang's culture and tourism bureau, said the city possesses picturesque natural scenery, diverse historical culture and world-class hydraulic engineering. "We would like to show the world the limitless charm of China's national achievements and the Yangtze Three Gorges, which is an engineering marvel, a cultural treasure and a stunning landscape," added Su.

"The city will also upgrade attractions such as the Three Gorges Dam, Three Gorges Villages, Three Gorges Waterfalls and Sanyou Cave to enhance the core competitiveness of tourism in Yichang. Cultural tourism is the foundation and one of the pillar industries for Yichang to gain international influence and recognition."

The official emphasized that Yichang will continue to focus on the natural splendor, engineering achievements and historic culture rooted in the Yangtze Three Gorges.

"Seizing the opportunities presented by the new waterway along the Three Gorges Dam, we plan to develop the Taipingxi International Tourism Island, construct the Yangtze Three Gorges International Cruise Hub and offer diversified, high-quality and comprehensive cruise tourism options," Su said.

From January to August, Yichang welcomed 78.79 million domestic tourists, an increase of 31.06 percent year-on-year, and domestic tourism revenue reached 81.41 billion yuan ($11.15 billion), up 38.77 percent year-on-year. As of Aug 30, the Three Gorges Dam had received 2.31 million visitors, an increase of 330 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

Yichang plans 258 cultural tourism projects this year with a total investment of 76.63 billion yuan, and Su said the city is aiming to boost consumption by combining themed intellectual property with urban cultural tourism, expanding the application scenarios of local IPs, and developing digital cultural and creative products.

"We will launch top-notch entertainment products and construct high-end resorts and themed hotels and parks as well as boutique homestays to upgrade accommodation. The city is also giving fresh impetus to healthcare sectors in such formats as forests, summer retreats, hot springs, traditional Chinese medicine and sports," he said.

"Yichang is a nationally renowned city for experiential learning. We created the brand 'Explore the Three Gorges, Study in Yichang', offering high-quality courses, developing unique routes and building a national destination for experiential learning."

The city also plans to issue consumption vouchers to stimulate market vitality, and it will host major activities such as art performances, concerts by top-tier stars, music galas, tourism development conferences and major sports events, including the New Year's Day long-distance run.

As well, a Yichang section of the Yangtze River National Cultural Park will be constructed to comprehensively improve the level of cultural heritage protection and utilization. Yichang's historic culture, such as the legacy of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), and the Three Gorges and Dragon Boat Festival customs, have been included in the national planning draft.

Eighteen Yichang projects are included in the provincial planning draft.

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