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Building Sichuan into World Tourism Destination

     Since 2013, China has proposed the strategic concepts to construct “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, which have brought new opportunities for the development of Sichuan tourism. Silk Road is not only the commercial road to the northern parts of Asia and Europe but also a tourist road full of rich natural resources and humanistic feelings. In 2015, China National Tourism Administration has settled the theme of annual tourism as “Beautiful China -- Tourism Year of Silk Road” to further enlarge cultural and tournaments cooperation and exchanges with nations along the Silk Road and enhance the international influence of tourism cultural brands of the Silk Road.

     Sichuan has occupied a crucial position in the Southern Silk Road and showed her amazing strength in the beginning of 2015 Tourism Year of Silk Road. Sichuan tourism has achieved a good start in the Spring Festival holiday with the tourism income of 22.566 billion yuan and tourists of 50.5861 million, increasing 27.2% and 16.6% respectively compared with those of last year. While Sichuan ranks first in China both from the tourism income and tourists. The growth rate of tourism income of Sichuan ranks second in China.

     These impressive numbers make people full of expectations to the excellent performance of Sichuan tourism in 2015. In March, when it is still cold, Sichuan has enjoyed a great spring. The pear blossom at Jinchuan, the peach blossom at Longyuanyi, the magnolia flower at Beichuan, the cauliflower at Qianwei, compose a colorful Sichuan. Sichuan will strive to build herself into a strong province with tourism economy and global tourism destination, follow the line of deepening the reform, improve continually the capacities of prospering and administering tourism in accordance with rules and law, accommodate new trends of economic development, supervise the tourism investment, create more tourism boutiques, regulate tourism markets, improve tourism innovation, accelerate the upgrading of Sichuan tourism, enhance the overall image of Sichuan tourism, and make more contributions to promoting Sichuan’s economic and social development.

     Panda fans: triggering tourists in the world to yearn “Southern Silk Road”

     Sichuan is located at the Southern Silk Road, along which a number of mature and qualified tourism scenic spots have been gathered, including Chengdu, Ya’an, Yibin, Liangshan and so on. More importantly, the international cute animal, giant pandas, are also on the Southern Silk Road. Statistics show that there are about 1,600 giant pandas in the world, 80% of which live in Sichuan. In 1869, David, a French priest, encountered with the giant panda at Baoxing County, Ya'an, initiating the international road of giant pandas. According to relevant data, currently, European countries such as England, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain and so on have built special houses for the giant pandas in the countries. The fans of giant pandas range from the Princess to the civilian people. The proposal of strategic concepts of “One Road and One Belt” makes Sichuan to ponder, as the starting point of Southern Silk Road and the hometown of the giant pandas, how to combine these two advantages together and dock the construction of “One Road and One Belt”. Therefore, Sichuan puts forwards that the giant pandas as ambassador and the Southern Silk Road as link could continuously enhance the international influence of tourism cultural brands of Silk Road. Last December, after years of pondering, Traveling Southern Silk Road and Hometown of the Giant Pandas -- European Fans of Giant Pandas to Sichuan was launched officially.

     In 2015, Sichuan will organize European fans of the giant pandas to drive to Sichuan through Southern Silk Road. On a super platform of comprehensive marketing, Sichuan will display her plentiful resources and produces as well as protection and research achievements of the giant pandas, market a new batch of products and routes, promote international tourism image and attract foreign tourists to travel here.

     By now, Sichuan has selected 12 giant panda fans from 6 European countries who will form a large self-driving group of 40 members with experts, cultural figures, foreign famous media of the Southern Silk Road. They will start from Europe in May 2015, and travel through 14 countries along the Southern Silk road of 200,000 km in two months, including England, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and so on, and terminate in Sichuan, China to have a deeper experience and understanding of Sichuan's unique tourism charm. In accordance with the arrangement of the organizers, the large giant panda fan group will host a special tourism promotion for Sichuan and European giant panda house cultural exchange activities in every passing country. By frequent marketing bombing of two months, veritable giant panda tornadoes and hit on Sichuan tourism will definitely happen.

     Actually, the hit on Sichuan tourism has been on fire in Europe for quite a while. From January to February of 2015, selections for giant panda fans have been hosted in 6 European countries such as Germany, Belgium, France and so on. The passion and enthusiasm of European tourists to giant pandas make Sichuan tourism successful to be local headlines. According to incomplete statistics, foreign famous media, such as ORF, Europe Channel of IFENG TV, European Times, the Austrian Press Agentur, Vienna Daily, Europe Huaxinbao Newspaper and so on reported the activities in important layout and period.

     But for the organizer, Sichuan Provincial Tourism Bureau, the heat is just a beginning. Abandoning “one shot deal” approach, Sichuan Provincial Tourism Bureau leaves more space for related institutes to get involved so that the giant panda fans to Sichuan could influence Asia, America and so on. Sichuan Provincial Tourism Bureau highlights the length and breadth of coverage.

     More importantly, Sichuan Provincial Tourism Bureau creates the event as an open cooperation platform, and a wonderful game with domestic and foreign exchanges and cooperation, interactions between tourism and media, and  active involvements of all parties in society through open, adjustable, interactive supporting activities. It is safe to conclude that the seeming civilian talent show, Traveling Southern Silk Road and Hometown of the Giant Pandas -- European Fans of Giant Pandas to Sichuan, is actually an international marketing activity with elaborate planning under the annual theme of “Beautiful China -- Tourism Year of Silk Road” proposed by China National Tourism Administration. The activity strives for the perfect combinations of the Southern Silk Road and giant pandas, the ancient and modern, the international and the domestic, the realistic and, historical, and the static and the dynamic in order to response to national leaders strategic proposals of “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” and strengthening communications.

     200 Billion Yuan Project to create international tourism destination

     2015 is China’s “Annual Tourism Year of Silk Road”. As the shining pearl on the Southern Silk Road, Sichuan will emphasize on highlighting distributions of tourism facility elements of boutique routes of the Southern Silk Road (Sichuan) through the breakthroughs of major areas of “one concentration”, “two belts” and “four areas”, dig local cultural connotation, promote wisdom service level, improve her management and service level into an international standard, make the Southern Silk Road (Sichuan) the national key tourism route of China introducing to the world. Sichuan will also strive to be an important element of “Traveling Silk Road and Enjoying the Beauty of China” to global tourists. 

     In 2015, Sichuan will further strengthen the construction programs of self-driving tourism service system of “One Belt and One Road” to create herself into the paradise of self-driving in western China. Chengdu will be created as the first level service hub for self-driving tourism by building western China self-driving tourism comprehensive service, construct self-driving demonstration camps as main carriers along G318, G317, G213, G5 and so on. Sichuan will also construct supporting facilities such as tourism consulting service centers, parking lots, garages, tourism toilets, tourism guidance signs, and so on to promote Ganzi, Aba, Ya’an, Panzhihua, Liangshan, Guangyuan, Mianyuan, Nanchong, Guang'an, Yibin, Bazhong and so on to be second tier for self-driving service. Meanwhile, Sichuan will focus on accelerating Chengdu and other cities to be world tourism destination, implementing tourism International strategy, enhancing international service standards, making full use of the policy of “72 hours transit visa-free”, and creating Chengdu into an international leisure and tourism destination and convenient international transit travel hub.

     “Two belts”, referring to Chengdu, Deyang, Mianyang, Guangyuan, Meishan, Leshan Tourism Economic Belt and Chengdu and Chongqing Economic Belt, have always be an important support for Sichuan to construct into a powerful tourism economy. Northwestern Sichuan, Southern Sichuan, Western Ya'an, and Northeastern Sichuan have promote Sichuan tourism to multi-polar development. 

     To response positively the construction of “One Belt and One Road”, Sichuan will design plannings to promote Chengdu-Chongqing Tourism Economic Belt tightly docking with the Yangtze River Economic Belt, compile the Tourism Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (Sichuan), and launch a batch of new tourism products including salt culture, Tri-River culture (the Yangtze River, Minjiang River and Jialing River). As the most essential trends of the Southern Silk Road in Sichuan, Southern Sichuan area and Western Ya'an Area will strive to crate special tourism boutiques.

     Southern Sichuan area will dock with the construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, implement Southern Sichuan urban leisure tourism development strategy, promote flavored travel routes such as “Golden Triangle for Chinese Liquor”, accelerate the building of Ya'an Eco-culture Integrated Development Trial Area, support Panzhihua to construct the first “Chinese Sunshine Health and Leisure City”, enhance the program of constructing national level resort area round Xichang Qionghai Lake, and create winter leisure and vacation destination in Western China.

     Currently, investment serves as the basis of Sichuan tourism steady growth and the driving force to promote Sichuan tourism rapid development. In 2015, Sichuan will strive to complete actual tourism investment and contracted investment 100 billion yuan respectively to expand Sichuan tourism.

     Building a proper platform plays a key role in Sichuan completing the goal of 200 million project. In 2015, Sichuan will host China International Tourism Investment Conference. Taking advantage of this platform, Sichuan will launch a batch of Sichuan selected major projects, and hold a series of activities such as Sichuan major tourism investment project promotion, contract signing for major projects, and so on. Meanwhile, Sichuan will issue Management Approaches for Sichuan Tourism Investment, further innovate tourism investment mechanism, and accelerate the exploration of socialization patterns of tourism investment. More importantly, Sichuan will expand financing channels for tourism, establish Sichuan Tourism Industrial Fund, and seek more social capital to get involvement in tournaments development and construction, strengthen the strategic cooperation with financial institutes such as ICBC, ABC and so on, organize matchmaking among banks and enterprises, boost a large number of selected programs of Sichuan tourism investment, and guide financial institutes to expand their support on major tourism project.

     “Satisfactory Sichuan” : Tourism service brands satisfy global tourists

     In the beginning of 2015, on the 2015 National Tourism Conference, China National Tourism Administration listed “adhering to problem orientation and regulating tourism market” as priority for the first time, required that the nation should establish long-term mechanisms of market supervision, and curb chaos of tourism market.

     Sichuan will actively implement the spirit of China National Tourism Administration, and serve tourists with full heart. Sichuan Provincial Government treats the supervision on tourism as one of the Top 3 most important issues for tourism industrial development and accelerate constructing Sichuan into a powerful tourism economy by creating “Satisfactory Sichuan” tourism service brands. Sichuan will grasp on not only quantity and brand quality.

     What will satisfactory Sichuan tourism provide personalized service? In 2015, Sichuan will establish punishment system on discredit. Sichuan will build regular reporting system on illegal actions, focus on illegal behaviors such as issuing fake or illegal tourism service advertisements, accepting rebates, cheating or overcharging, luring consumers or selling forged and fake commodities, establish blacklist system for seriously law-breaking operators, and corporate tourism market daily supervision situation into company credit information publicity system, financial credit information basic database and small business, rural credit information management system to implement punishment for discredits.

     In the future, even in the peak holiday, tourists could enjoy a proper reception at tourism destination. Since 2015, Sichuan will continually perfect management system of tourism service quality. Sichuan will promote comprehensively Quality Level Improvement Standards of Sichuan Scenic Spots (A +) and Response Standards of Scenic Spots in Peak Period (A ++), so as to improve service quality and emergency respond of scenic spots, implement local and industrial tourism standards, shape tourism brands and enhance tourism quality, and close those scenic spots and star hotel that are heavily complained by tourists. Meanwhile, Sichuan will conduct tourist satisfaction survey and establish tourism service quality management system focusing on tourists’ satisfaction. In 2015, Sichuan will take wisdom tourism as a breakthrough to enhance emergency management level of tourism security, establish and enhance forecasting and early warning mechanisms for tourism market together with public security department, transportation department and weather forecasting office, and improve emergency response capability of tourism.

     A satisfactory Sichuan needs the protection of tourists' civilized behaviors. In 2015, Sichuan will establish civilized tourism comprehensive management system. Sichuan Tourism Association will play its role, formulate and implement Uncivilized Record Management Methods in Tourism, build reporting mechanism on disclosing uncivilized behavior, and punish uncivilized tourists. Sichuan will also increase media coverage, organize civilized tourism experience, create a civilized environment and make civilized tourism widely accepted.

 
 
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