China's Jilin unveils new tourism plans as Changbaishan Global Geopark inaugurated

(Xinhua) 09:35, June 15, 2024

CHANGCHUN, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The Changbaishan Global Geopark was officially inaugurated Friday at the first Jilin Tourism Development Conference held at the Changbai Mountain reserve in northeast China's Jilin Province, after it was added to the UNESCO Global Geoparks network in March.

The province took the opportunity to release a tourism development plan on integrating the tourism resources of Changbai Mountain and its surrounding areas based on the principle of giving priority to protection.

The Changbai Mountain is characterized by Quaternary volcanic landform relics, unique vertical distribution belts of vegetation, and a wealth of wild animal and plant resources.

The volcanoes and unique landforms of Changbai Mountain interpret a geological history of 300 million to 400 million years, according to Kristof Vandenberghe, chief of UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geoparks Section, UNESCO Global Geoparks Secretariat.

In its tourism development plan, the province has set an overall goal of building a top global tourism destination, and will establish a world vacation and wellness tourism destination, a national demonstration site for integrating cultural and tourism industries, and a global pioneering site for advancing ecological civilization.

Jilin will also cultivate 10 high-quality holiday resorts and 100 high-quality tourist attractions, and create 1,000 towns and villages that are livable and suitable for tourism, the plan said.

In summer, the lush forests and fresh air at Changbai Mountain attract tourists to engage in cycling and hiking, while in winter, the mountain becomes a ski resort. In 2023, the Changbai Mountain scenic area received 2.75 million tourists, up 260.45 percent year on year.

Besides making plans, the province has also been making efforts to facilitate transportation. In 2025, the high-speed railway connecting Shenyang, capital of the neighboring Liaoning Province, and Changbai Mountain will be put into operation, greatly cutting the journey time for travelers.

The province has also made a tourism development plan for the Songhua River, which originates from Changbai Mountain. It has also formulated a plan for the G331 national highway, which is surrounded by mountains and rivers and has rich folk culture and tourism resources.

The province aims to raise its total tourism revenue to 100 billion yuan (about 14 billion U.S. dollars) by 2027, according to the conference.

In addition to official plans and the government's continuous efforts, China's social media platforms are also playing an important role in the development of the local tourism industry.

On the Chinese lifestyle-sharing platform Xiaohongshu, hundreds of bloggers share lifestyle content on themes of tourism and culture at Changbai Mountain. On Douyin, China's version of TikTok, a staff member of the Changbai Mountain meteorological station posts the weather conditions and spectacular scenery of the mountain's Tianchi crater lake every day and has gained 36,000 followers.

"I was drawn here by the posts about fun experiences in the wild on Xiaohongshu. This time, I experienced rafting and afternoon tea in the forest. It was very relaxing and healing," said Han Xiaoxiao, a tourist from north China's Tianjin.

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Hongyu)


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