[photopress:suzhou_wumen.jpg,full,alignright]To give an idea of the size of the interest in travel, there has recently been a three-day 2007 Domestic Travel Fair in Suzhou. The exhibition area covered 35,000 square meters, with 1,935 exhibition stands. 1,788 enterprises on display. Visitors were fairly evenly split between professionals and members of the public and, in all, there were some 80,000 visitors.
That is a major commercial success.
The National Bureau of Tourism is promoting rural tourism which is a good thing as the cities approach capacity. This idea, perhaps, started in Suzhou. Two years ago, Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Tourism began to regulate the rural tourism market. As you can see from the illustration, used much larger than normal, its tourism industry starts from a pretty solid basis of scenic beauty.
According to Shen Wenjuan, President of Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Tourism, the idea is ‘adjusting measures to local conditions,’ organically combining tourism with agriculture and working towards marketable concepts such as ‘one area with one character,’ ‘one town with one product,’ ‘one village with one landscape’ and ‘one household with one business.’
All of which can be taken too far and result in a strait-jacketed approach to tourism that rarely works. However, it does give a framework on which to build.
Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Tourism set aside a fund of RMB1.8 million for provincial and municipal tourism project construction. Some of the villages have been major successes.
Tangli Village completed the overall planning of Piaomiao scenic spots and built two agricultural family restaurants and a village inn.
Huqiao Village designed an ‘Independent Agricultural Development Park’ and an ‘Agricultural Tourism & Fishing Area,’ for which they have been partially funded.
It probably is not there yet. Much needs to be done. But this approach to rural tourism seems, on the face of it, a natural and intelligent way of extending China’s tourism.
Source: China Economic Net