China tourists on city breaks to Suzhou are being invited to celebrate the area's silk industry.
The area has been a hub of the country's silk trade for thousands of years.
It is recognised as the Chinese home of the industry and no trip there is complete without visiting a silk shop.
The China Suzhou International Silk Tourist Festival is one of the country's most eagerly anticipated autumnal festivals and events.
It is a massive annual celebration, being staged this year from Wednesday September 25 to October 20.
A raft of activities with local cultural charm are being planned to attract overseas investment and to publicise wares.
These include the Tiger Hill Temple Fair, the Tianping Red Maple Art Festival and myriad economic and trade talks.
Suzhou embroidery started in Wuxian, later spreading to adjacent regions around the Yangtze River Delta.
Its reputation for high-quality silk products has been admired for centuries.
The industry has thrived through a combination of reasons. These include the rich soil, mild temperatures, booming production of silk fabric and thread and the skills of local people.
As a traditional art form, Suzhou embroidery is still developing in its styles and themes thanks to the efforts of contemporary artists.
Exhibitions are staged around the globe, where connoisseurs of established art forms are regularly amazed by the exquisite beauty that Suzhou embroidery can bring.
Clients and tourists from other areas of the planet are welcome to share the essence of Chinese culture.
The festival has offered various opportunities through tourism for Suzhou's trade and economy.
Suzhou isn't all about silk, however. It is also famous for its attractive gardens and time-honoured waterside architecture.
The meticulously designed nine Classical Gardens of Suzhou, which were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, are universally seen as masterpieces of the genre.
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