'Friendly Shandong' enhances global influence

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2023-03-27

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The 2023 Shandong Tourism Development Conference kicks off on March 26 in Qingdao. [Photo/Dazhong News]

The 2023 Shandong Tourism Development Conference that was held at the Qingdao International Conference Center on March 26 served as a key platform for visitors from all walks of life in China and abroad to strengthen exchanges and seek win-win solutions for the high-quality development of the cultural tourism industry.

Since the beginning of this year, Shandong has made great strides in building national parks and four cultural corridors along the Yellow River, the Grand Canal, the Great Wall of Qi, and the Huanghai and Bohai seas, as well as one cultural experience route along the Qingdao-Jinan high-speed railway.

The province is boosting the in-depth integration of culture and tourism, creating a top tourist destination with an international style, Chinese characteristics and local charms to promote the brand of "Friendly Shandong".


Participants at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Shandong Tourism Development Conference [Photo/Dazhong News]

Zhang Xu, chairman of the World Tourism Alliance, said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry has ushered in both new opportunities and challenges. 

"The recovery of the tourism industry is not a simple return to the past, but the unleashing of the domestic demand and the cultivation of new momentum," he said.

"The WTA will continue to leverage its advantages as an exchange and cooperation platform and work with Shandong to fuel its internationalization of cultural tourism," he added.

During the post-COVID-19 period, Shandong has introduced a series of favorable policies to stimulate the recovery of the tourism industry.

The province has recruited ambassadors around the world to expand the influence of "Friendly Shandong" and the Qilu culture. 

At the opening ceremony, 10 people were awarded the honorable title of "'Friendly Shandong' Tourism Ambassadors". "Shandong boasts natural scenery and abundant cultural relics and historical sites. I will speak for 'Friendly Shandong' in my hometown," said a tourism ambassador from Minsk, Belarus.

During the event, 10 counties and districts including Lixia, Qingdao West Coast New Area, Tengzhou, Penglai and Qingzhou received the 2022 Shandong Advanced Counties for Culture and Tourism Industries award, and another 10 counties and districts received the Fourth Batch of Demonstration Areas for All-for-One Tourism in Shandong award, which include Huaiyin, Shinan, Gaoqing, Longkou and Shouguang.


The 2023 Shandong Tourism Development Conference is held in Qingdao. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Shandong also launched 18 key projects with a total planned investment of 44.96 billion yuan ($6.53 billion) during the conference that covers such sectors as leisure and vacation, nighttime sightseeing, Red tourism, eco-tourism and cultural creativity.

Wang Lei, director of the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, said at the launch ceremony of the global promotional activity "Traveling in China, A Better Life - Meeting the Sea along the Yellow River" during the event that Shandong will further deepen cross-province cooperation in aspects of building tourism brands, sharing resources, creating new products and holding special events to showcase the natural scenery and local customs of the nine provinces along the Yellow River and jointly boost the high-quality development of the cultural tourism industry.