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Tourism boom promotes ancient city preservation

2023/5/23 9:46:29   source:Global Times

During the 2023 May Day holidays, ­Yemeni student Al-Sayaghi Waleed Mohammed Saleh Ahmed and his Chinese friends experienced the ancient way of transferring money in China's earliest bank in the Pingyao ancient city, North China's Shanxi Province.

"There are numerous cultural relics in China's ancient cities which have intrigued me to learn more about the country's past," the Yemeni said.

China has dozens of well-preserved ancient cities. In recent years, these historical sites have become new darlings of curious tourists with thriving culture and tourism industries newly developed.

Xinzhou ancient city in Shanxi, with a history of more than 1,800 years, boasts over 500 stores, many of which are ­time-honored, able to provide various services related to cultural relics, including catering, accommodation and sightseeing.

During the five-day May Day holidays, Xinzhou ancient city received more than 400,000 visitors, raking in revenues of approximately 15 million yuan ($2 million). Nearly 40 percent of the tourists were from other provincial-level regions.

Multiple ancient city scenic spots in China have tapped into local cultural resources amid this year's tourism boom.

Lijiang ancient city in Southwest ­China's Yunnan Province now hosts regular celebrations on traditional festivals, including the renowned Torch Festival, providing a festive atmosphere full of local characteristics for visitors.

Cultural elements are the major magnets attracting visitors to ancient cities. As an important carrier of the country's intangible cultural heritages and traditional culture, ancient cities have stepped up their cultural preservation and restoration efforts alongside their booming tourism development.

In 2022, to promote the protection of cultural relics, the National Cultural Heritage Administration issued a document on encouraging and supporting social forces to participate in protection and utilization of cultural architecture.

"With this document, we can better protect and develop historical relics in the ancient city," said Su Yawei, manager of the Taiyuan Ancient County scenic area.

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