Chinese city goes global in tourism bid

18th Jan 2013

An ancient Chinese city once called "the finest in the world" has launched a new campaign to attract tourists.

In an unprecedented move, Hangzhou is the first mainland city in the country to implement a global approach to the promotion of its tourism industry.

Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in eastern China, is an integral part of the world's sixth largest economic centre, the Yangtze River Delta, and located on West Lake, a Unesco world heritage site. When Marco Polo visited 800 years ago, he declared it "the finest and most splendid city in the world".

The tourism campaign, spearheaded by Li Hong, director of Hangzhou Tourism Commission, will focus its efforts on more than a dozen countries around the world, including the UK, Germany, France and US.

Li Hong said: "The goal is not only to attract more international tourists and increase our foreign exchange earnings from overseas visitors. It is also aimed at boosting the capacity and status of our industry so that we may provide an even better product."

Hangzhou's marketing strategy includes an outdoor campaign in several international gateway cities, with buses and taxis carrying the slogan "Unseen Beauty, Unforgettable Hangzhou". It will also promote local cuisine and Chinese medical tourism, develop business facilities and see tourist reception centres set up around the city.

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