Where tourism and culture go hand in hand

China’s new Ministry of Culture and Tourism brings both even closer together

When people think about China, the first things that come to mind are Beijing with the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, Xi’an with the terracotta Army, the Yangtze or Shanghai as a modern megacity – or perhaps the rice terraces in Guangxi.

But China’s National Tourism Administration wants to show visitors to ITB Berlin that China is more than that. Today, China is experiencing an entirely new technological era. The four major “modern Chinese inventions” voted by foreign students in China are high-speed rail, Alipay, dockless shared bicycles and online shopping.

Besides the main route Beijing – Xi’an – Yangtze – Guilin – Shanghai, the new booming region, Hunan Province, hometown of Konfuzius, Shandong Province and winter wonderland Jilin province, as well as the Silk Road, are under the spotlight.
“China and its more than 30 provinces stand for diversity; each province has unique sights and highlights to offer”, explains Chen Hongjie, the new Director, Tourist Of ce of the VR China in Frankfurt.

Tourism along the Silk Road is steadily growing – places such as Xi’an, which is the starting point of the Silk Road, Qinghai or Gansu represent a different side of China. Here, one can experience camel rides in the desert, oases like the crescent moon lake in Dunhuang and ancient Buddhist art like in the Mogao Grottes. Furthermore, the Silk Road has a special meaning for Chinese culture. Besides the trade of goods, it also enabled the exchange of culture and values between Central Asia and China.

Hunan and Hainan effectively are big draw cards at ITB Berlin, as with more and more people visiting China, travellers also start exploring provinces “off the beaten path”. Hunan’s Zhangjiajie National Park, which inspired the scenery of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Avatar and hosts the longest glass bridge worldwide as well as the highest outdoor elevator, is a destination sure to leave visitors in awe.

Hainan, the “Hawaii of China”, is, says Chen Hongjie, so much more than just an island with beautiful beaches and great weather: “Recently Hainan province unveiled plans aimed at building the tropical island into a world-class medical tourism hub, combining high-end medical tourism with characteristic Chinese healthcare”, he added.

“Tourism and culture in China go hand in hand – since last year we have the new Ministry of Culture and Tourism in China, bringing the two elds together and connecting them even more”, explains Mr Chen, adding, “We’re planning on taking promotions to a new level and thus to inspire more people to come and experience the diverse cultural landscape of China.”

As the biggest and most important trade fair of the tourism industry ITB is of crucial importance for the Chinese tourism authority. This year they are coming with a delegation of around 100 persons from China to attend the fair and promote the “Beautiful China” campaign, as well as re- connecting and catching-up with partners, journalists and travellers alike.

Hall 26c / Stand 314