After three years in the doldrums, the Chinese tourism market rebounded strongly during this year’s Spring Festival thanks to the broad easing of the country's stringent pandemic restrictions. In a move to boost activity in the cultural tourism sector and attract visitors to Weifang, a city with a rich history in China’s Shandong province, the 2023 Weifang (Shanghai) Tourism Promotion Meeting and Weifang Tourism Promotion Month Launch Ceremony were held at InterContinental Shanghai Hongqiao NECC On February 9.
The event was hosted by the Weifang Municipal People's Government, organized by the Weifang Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism and co-organized by Joyu (Lvmama) Group. Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism deputy director and party group member Zhang Qi, KChance Tourism Consulting & Operation Institute chairman and Joyu (Lvmama) founder Hong Qinghua, and Weifang Municipal People's Government vice mayor Di Bo were present at the meeting. More than 100 guests attended the event, including representatives of culture and tourism organizations, leading travel agencies, tourism associations, cultural and tourism firms, and journalists from the two cities.
The event, themed "Weifang, More Than the World Capital of Kites!", showcased the charismatic qualities of Weifang’s cultural attractions and points of interest through the presentation of promotional films alongside an exhibit of cultural and tourism products. Also featured were the release of policies designed to assist in the promotion of tourism, a strategic agreement signing ceremony, a ceremony for the launch of the promotion month, and negotiations between tourism firms. The leading tourism agencies in the two cities plan to take the lead in working with the respective government agencies to heighten awareness of and enhance the influence of Weifang's culture and tourism market.
Mr. Zhang, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism deputy director, delivered the welcome speech, highlighting the many and frequent exchanges that Shanghai and Weifang have engaged in concerning mutual concerns and collaborations especially on the topics of the economy, culture and society. Shandong (the province where Weifang is located) is not only an important source of tourists for Shanghai's cultural venues, but also the most popular vacation destination for its denizens. He added that we expect the two cities to not only jointly write the next chapter in the history of China’s domestic tourism sector as we enter a new era categorized by higher expectations among travelers, but also join hands in facilitating a better life for their respective residents.
Mr. Hong, the Kchance chairman and Joyu (Lvmama) Group founder, expressed in his speech his strong optimism for the future of Weifang's rich cultural tourism resources. He said that Joyu (Lvmama) Group will deploy its integrated advantages in planning, investment, construction, operation and sales, as well as adopt a new approach to how it views the available resources and prospective market with an eye to selecting and bringing together the best partners to undertake the integrated development of Weifang’s culture and tourism.
In his opening speech, Mr. Di, the Weifang Municipal People's Government vice mayor, said that Weifang is considered the world’s birthplace of kites, where more than 150 historical personalities such as Su Shi (1037-1101)，a renowned Chinese poet，and female poet Li Qingzhao(1084-1155) once lived or stayed in Weifang,and where they wrote poems that have been recited for thousands of years. The city is surrounded by mountains and the sea. It is a place where ancient China’s Qi and Lu cultures blended and the region’s maritime and farming civilizations intersected and merged. The thousands of years that has elapsed since the city was founded have yielded Weifang’s unique scenery and enduring cultural heritage. Weifang’s 9.4 million residents, known for their warm hospitality, welcome all visitors, whether for sightseeing or for leisure, to come and enjoy all that Weifang has to offer! Let’s not forget Shanghai’s many entrepreneurs, welcome to invest in the city with a great future!
The promotion meeting would not have been complete without a presentation on Weifang’s many wonders, among them:
(1)Shihuyuan Garden, well-known for the landscaped Pearl of Ludong;
(2)Qingzhou Ancient City, a recipient of China National Tourism Administration’s “5A” designation, the administration’s highest grade;
(3)Yishan Mountain, often cited as one of China’s most prominent mountains and home to an important forest reserve;
(4)Yunmen Mountain, famous for the cliff carving of the Chinese character shou meaning “long life”, an event that took place during the Ming Dynasty;
(5)the world's tallest shaftless ferris wheel, the Bohai Eye;
(6)Qilu Mountain Road, known as the Sichuan-Tibet Route in Shandong for its similarity to the types of landscapes normally only seen in China’s rugged western regions;
(7)Yangjiabu Folk Art Park (formerly the Yangjiabu Kite Factory);
(8)the Red Sorghum Town tourist area in Gaomi county, Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan's hometown;
(9)the high-tech vegetable demonstration park in Shouguang;
(10)Zhucheng Dinosaur National Geopark.
At the event, the opening of two new roads as part of the Qilu Mountain road network were announced, the Anqiu-Linqu and the Linqu-Qingzhou roads, where visitors can rent a car or take their own and take in the amazing vistas that are a feature of each of these mountainous thoroughfares.
The Weifang Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism released two important documents at the event: the Weifang City’s Policies and Measures to Vigorously Boost Culture and Tourism Consumption and the Several Policies on Promoting High-quality Development of Culture and Tourism Industry, in a move to boost the recovery of the culture and tourism market. Executives from travel agencies in Weifang and Shanghai, the Weifang Self-Driving Tour Association and Shanghai Territorial Self-Driving Tourism Development Center, signed an agreement on the mutual feeding-in of visitors.
At the promotion meeting, the 2023 Weifang Tourism Promotion Month was officially launched with the intent of further promoting in-depth exchanges and cooperation between the tourism associations and cultural tourism companies in the two regions, in an effort to open a new chapter in the development of China’s tourism sector.