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Constructing a tourism culture

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-14 08:05

Fantawild Oriental Heritage boasts picturesque landscapes and cultural elements in Mianyang, Sichuan province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Efforts over the past five years in developing the sector are starting to bear fruit, Yang Feiyue reports.

Experiences that integrate culture and tourism elements and favorable policies for their development have, in recent years, continued to emerge in the country to satisfy the increasingly diverse needs of travelers.

In 2017, the culture and tourism sectors enjoyed explosive growth, which was powered by capital investment, technology and creative endeavor.

Domestic theme park brands, including the Overseas Chinese Town, Fantawild and Chimelong made the top 10 of their respective worldwide categories in the 2017 global theme park report that was jointly conducted by the infrastructure consulting firm AECOM and the Los Angeles-based Themed Entertainment Association.

Overseas Chinese Town received 42.9 million traveler visits in 2017, while Fantawild welcomed 38.5 million visitors and 31 million visits were made to Chimelong during the same period.

Tourism performances featuring Chinese folk culture and history by the Songcheng Performance Development and Huaxia Culture and Tourism Group, have all made their presence felt in the tourism industry since 2017.

The Songcheng company, the first of its kind in the performing arts industry to go public in China, has more than 70 theaters of various types with 175,000 seats in total. In addition to performances, the company has expanded into leisure tourism and other live entertainment.

The country's culture and tourism integration entered a new era since the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was inaugurated in Beijing on April 8,2018.

Domestic theme park players have increasingly made inroads in terms of adding distinctive domestic culture to fun experiences for travelers.

Fantawild has made a point of working Chinese cultural elements into its customer experiences in recent years.

The domestic theme park operator has developed two facilities that are built on the back of the country's red tourism drive this year.

They offer modernized experiences based on Chinese history and are part of Fantawild's Beautiful China trilogy.

The first of the trilogy, Oriental Heritage, taps into the country's 5,000-year history. Ningbo Park of Oriental Heritage, which opened in 2016, had received over 16 million visitors by the end of 2020. The park has been on the top 20 list for theme parks in the Asia-Pacific region for four consecutive years, according to the Global Attractions Attendance Report (2020), compiled by AECOM.

The two newly opened parks this year belong to the second installment of the trilogy, Glorious Orient, and are themed around China's modern history.

One of them opened in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, in May this year, and the other opened in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, in July. The theme was centered around the modernization of China over the past 170 years. There are six major attraction areas at each park. Some of the main attractions include Let's Fly, where visitors can fly over picturesque landscapes from around the country, and Zhiyuan, which lets visitors brave the waves on the eponymous warship that was purchased from Britain for the Beiyang Fleet. The Glorious Years attraction enables visitors to see the rapid changes that occurred after the founding of New China.

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