Open Governance
Leshan Tourism Is Stepping into Internationalization

     On April 22nd, all the billboards in red and yellow along the whole way of Leshan Minjiang River to the Giant Buddha Scenic Spot write, “Welcome to Leshan!” Similarly, there are welcoming words at all the scenic spots of Mount Emei and Qianwei Cyathea Lake and so on, that is, “Welcome to Attend the 64 Pacific Asia Travel Association (hereafter referred to as PATA) Annual Summit.  
      This is the first time that PATA will hold their annual summit in a western China city. Why does such a high level conference choose to hold in Leshan?

     Tourism Expo Winning Leshan as “International Tourism Destination”
2014 is the beginning year to construct Leshan as international tourism destination. 2014 has witnessed Leshan’s remarkable achievements. The total revenue of Leshan tourism ranked second in Sichuan, amounting to 38.57 billion yuan, increasing 20.63%. The number of domestic and overseas visitors reaches 33.5473 million, a year-on-year growth of 12.02%. 
      The remarkable achievements are based on supporting of down-to-earth activities and projects. Last September, 1st Sichuan International Tourism Trade Expo was successfully held in Leshan, which attracted over 400 tourism product purchasers and representatives of international tourism organizations from 37 countries such as South Korea, German, America, Australia and so on. During the expo, 200 tourism projects are signed with the contracted volume of 131.85 billion yuan. Leshan signed projects worthy 61.38 billion yuan, accounting for 46.6%. 
      Tourism Expo achieves the goal of “international standards, specialized meeting and massive holiday”. Leshan also becomes the permanent site for holding Tourism Expo.
      Moreover, Leshan also launches a series of tourism brand creating projects, including constructing national A level scenic spots, provincial level tourism famous counties, provincial level tourism standardization demonstration areas, provincial level rural tourism demonstration counties, provincial level tourism leisure area, provincial level ecological tourism demonstration areas and so on. Leshan has successfully launched the creation of 27 brands.

     “International position” of Leshan tourism is being recognized in a more professional manner.

     Developing all city tourism and third pole

     PATA has chosed Beijing, Macao, Zhuhai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Nagoya, and Jeju Island as conference site. But today, on the Chinese official website of PATA, the news title, the PATA Annual Summit 2015 to Be Held in Leshan, Sichuan in April, is most attractive. Mr. Scott Supernaw, chairman of PATA, once commented Mount Emei as Michelin”, a place worth traveling. He also hopes to enhance the reputation of Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha through PATA. 
     ”PATA Annual Summit will improve the service quality of Leshan tourism, especially the conference service, and bring about new investment opportunities, wisdom support and new ideas.” Responsible persons from Leshan Tourism Bureau said. 
     There are a series of activities to be held in Leshan in 2015. The top 5 most attractive races are 5th China Sichuan International Emei Marital Art Race, 12th National Marital Arts Hometown Competition, International Round China Highway Bicycle Race, Heizhugou Outdoor Sports Challenge Competition and National Bridge Game of Class A Clubs. These 5 races will be held in the second half year and are the highest level races that Leshan ever hold in recent 10 years.

     There are more calm reflections of policy makers behind the sparkling activities. In the end of 2013, Strategic Planning for Constructing Leshan as International Tourism Destination has pointed out that internationalization is the shortcoming of Leshan. Therefore, Leshan is striving to catch up.

     A year effort has perfected Leshan international destination construction planning system. Strategic Planning for Constructing Leshan as International Tourism Destination, 7 Year Action Plan for Strategic Planning for Constructing Leshan as International Tourism Destination are general policies while Development Outline of Leshan Trillion Cultural Tourism Industries and Development Planning of Leshan Leisure Camping Tourism are specific guidance. 
      More specifically, Leshan will focus on two cores, i.e., Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha to accelerate her pace in constructing as international tourism destination. Leshan will treat the whole area as third pole in tourism development. Leshan should integrate tourism with cultures, trades, sports, agriculture so as to create a sightseeing city, settle the tasks of tourism transformation and upgrading to major cultural tourism activities and projects, foster new normal of rail tourism, commercial expo tourism, senior tourism, cultural creation tourism and so on, and create a more attractive tourism brands. 
      Leshan also makes specific goals for this series of practices. According to planning, the whole tourism avenue of 2017 will be 66.9 billion yuan. The added value of tourism will account for 18% of the whole GDP of Leshan. By 2020, Leshan will primarily build herself as international tourism destination through solving 6 problems, including cultural inheritance, industry configuration, product construction, urban space, comprehensive protection, and social development.

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