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28 Jun, 2014

4th Silk Road tourism festival held in Zhangye

Zhangye (chinadaily.com.cn), 2014-06-23 – The fourth Dunhuang Tour Silk Road International Tourism Festival opened in Zhangye city, Northwest China’s Gansu province, on June 15. The event attracted two international tourism organizations, envoys to China from 25 different countries and regions, about 100 overseas travel agencies, and over 40 members of the media from home and abroad.

Wang Sanyun, secretary of Gansu provincial Party committee, attended the ceremony and announced its opening.

4th Silk Road tourism festival kicks off

Opening ceremony of the fourth Dunhuang Tour Silk Road International Tourism Festival [Provided to China Daily]

The Silk Road, with a history of more than 2,000 years and stretching over 7,000 kilometers, was an inland commercial trade route in ancient times connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. China is the starting point of the route.

The tourism festival, which has been held three times, plays a vital role in promoting tourism and international communication and cooperation in Gansu.

Jean Claude Baumgarten, vice chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He said that given the number of countries covered by Silk Road, various kinds of commodity goods and diverse cultures from different ethnic groups were all very fascinating and overwhelming.

He added that in 2013, tourism industry accounted for 9.55 percent of the total world economy, its export volume took up 5.4 percent of global exports, and the number of foreign tourists hit one billion.

“Key regions of the Silk Road economic belt include 53 countries from Asia, Africa, and Europe, which makes it the most potent economic corridor throughout the world and exerts profound influence on the economic development of countries along the Silk Road,” said Shao Qiwei, director of China’s National Tourism Administration.

China is willing to expand cooperation with the governments of these countries by issuing more favorable entry and exit policies and border tourism policies.

4th Silk Road tourism festival kicks off

Shao Qiwei, director of China National Tourism Administration [Provided to China Daily]

Located in the middle of Hexi Corridor, Zhangye is a historic city with religion, ethnic, and Silk Road culture. It boasts over 1,270 pieces of immovable cultural relics, and more than 34,000 pieces in the museum collection, all of which display features from different times.

At the opening ceremony, together with Mayor Huang Zeyuan, representatives from 18 countries and regions such as Russia, Ukraine, Bahrain, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Nepal, jointly released a declaration on Silk Road tourism cooperation.

Li Liangyi, chairman of China Express Travel, said the Silk Road economic belt, put forward by President Xi Jinping, garnered widespread attention from overseas, among overseas Chinese in particular.

He also said that he would organize more visitors from Singapore and Southeast Asia to travel to Gansu and help promote Silk Road tourism. Liu Weiping, governor of Gansu, said that this ancient Silk Road in Gansu extended over 1,600 km, and was known as “the great canal of the world’s culture”.

Consequently, Gansu would, by bringing into play its advantages in traffic, culture, resources and industry, build three strategic platforms—Lanzhou new area, Dunhuang international cultural tourism city and China Silk Road expo—to establish a Gansu golden area in the Silk Road economic belt.

Edited by Nelly Min and Le Qin