TRAVEL 3rd Hebei tourism industry conference kicks off

TRAVEL

3rd Hebei tourism industry conference kicks off

Zhang Xingjian | chinadaily.com.cn

05:02, July 22, 2018

The 3rd Conference of Hebei Tourism Industry Development and the Hebei Tourism and Culture Promotion Conference was held in the picturesque Bashang Grassland, Chengde city, North China’s Hebei province on July 18, 2018. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The 3rd Conference of Hebei Tourism Industry Development and the Hebei Tourism and Culture Promotion Conference was held in the picturesque Bashang Grassland, Chengde city, North China's Hebei province on Wednesday.

Xu Qin, Hebei's governor, delivered the welcoming speech during the event. "Tourism is an important channel for exchanges and mutual learning between different countries, different regions and different cultures. It is an effective means of developing the economy and increasing employment, and an important industry to meet people's needs for a better life," said he.

"Hebei is the only province in China that boasts rich yet different geographic advantages, including seashore, plain, lake, mountain and plateau," Xu said, adding that Saihanba National Forest Park, China's largest man-made woodland, in Weichang Manchu and Mongolian autonomous county is a wonder of the world and won the UN's top environmental award last year.

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The Saihanba Afforestation Community clinched the Inspiration and Action Award due to its efforts to transform degraded land into a lush paradise. Saihanba, which covers 92,000 hectares, had by the 1950s become bare due to excessive logging, which allowed sandstorms to blow into Beijing from the northern deserts.

In 1962, hundreds of foresters began reclaiming the land by planting trees. Three generations of foresters have increased forest cover by 12 percent to 80 percent. The forest now supplies 137 million cubic meters of clean water to the Beijing and Tianjin areas annually, while discharging 550,000 metric tons of oxygen. It has spurred economic growth with green sectors, generating $15.1 million in 2016 alone.

A giant statue of an ancient Chinese emperor stands in front of Mongolian yurts. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

"China, the world's largest source of outbound tourists and the world's fourth largest inbound tourism country, has played an important role in promoting the development of the world's tourism industry," said Zhu Shanzhong, executive director of the Madrid-based UNWTO.

"Hebei Province is striving to develop all-for-one tourism, vigorously strengthen the construction of tourism projects, and continuously deepen exchanges and cooperation with the national tourism industry. Hebei, with a unique geographic advantage and rich tourism resources, has great potential for tourism development in the future," Zhu added.

During the opening event, participants also watched the large-scale, live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony, which records the annual hunting event on the grassland by Chinese emperors during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

The live-action performance Mulan Qiuxian Ceremony. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

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