Big plans for tourism in Yunnan province


Wang Yubo, acting governor of Yunnan, delivers his government work report at the ongoing annual session of the provincial people's congress on Jan 26, 2021. [Photo provided to]

Yunnan province will build the comprehensive tourism project in its western region into a world-class tourist destination, according to information revealed at the ongoing annual session of the provincial People's Congress.

In 2021, Yunnan will focus on the whole industrial chain of "culture, tourism, medicine, health, sports, science and intelligence" to create a new tourism brand represented by the western Yunnan tourism loop, said Wang Yubo, the acting governor of Yunnan, in the government work report delivered on Tuesday.

The province will build a big data center for smart tourism, and it will develop a new type of rural tourism and new forms of business and new products, such as leisure vacations, outdoor sports and eldercare, Wang said in his work report.


The Old Town of Dali in Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

Yunnan will also speed up the construction of sports training bases with high-altitude characteristics, he said.

The period of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) was an important period for Yunnan's economic and social development to achieve high quality and leapfrog development. Smart tourism has reached new heights in the province, Wang said.


The Three Pagodas of Dali in Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

Last year, Yunnan received 529 million visitors and generated 647.7 billion yuan ($100 billion) from tourism.

Sun Jiong, deputy director of the Yunnan Department of Culture and Tourism, said in a recent interview that with years of effort, a new tourism ecology and a healthy and orderly tourism market environment have basically taken shape in Yunnan, and the whole province's tourism service quality has been comprehensively improved.

The province received 815 million visitors in 2019, Sun said.

In recent years, Yunnan has promoted a comprehensive transformation and upgrade of its tourism industry by focusing on intelligent improvement online and high-quality development offline.


The Yulong Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

Tourists can enjoy their trips to Yunnan with the guidance of an app that can be used on smartphones. Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a pioneer in the province's smart tourism construction.

"The construction of the intelligent management system has strengthened the data analysis level and greatly improved the supervision efficiency of the scenic spots," said Zhang Yebing, an official with the protection bureau of Lijiang. The province boasts rich tourism resources, including five UNESCO world heritage sites. It is also home to over 20 ethnic groups. Tourism has helped improve the living standards of local people.


The Yulong Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

"Now, more residents are working in the park. Our incomes have improved a lot," said Yi Xi, a resident of Luorong, a Tibetan village located in the Potatso National Park of Shangri-la city, Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture.

"In the past, my family's main source of income was animal husbandry and picking matsutake. Since the establishment of the national park, we have extra regular salaries and subsidies," he said.


A photo taken in Shangri-la county, Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

According to Wang, the acting governor, the problem of absolute poverty that had plagued Yunnan for thousands of years has been solved. The province lifted its remaining 442,200 impoverished people out of poverty in 2020.

The 11 ethnic minority groups in the province with relatively small populations, or which transitioned directly from primitive society to a socialist order after the founding of the People's Republic of China, also bid farewell to poverty, said Wang.


The Potatso National Park of Shangri-la city in Yunnan province. [Photo by Deng Bin/for]

The population of impoverished rural residents in Yunnan was more than 8.8 million in 2012. All have now been lifted out of poverty.

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