Lush green mountains frame the skyline and a cool breeze drifts across a field of beautiful orange-gold marigolds that stretch as far as the eye can see. In the distance, you can hear the faint sounds of drums and symbols beating in a rhythmic fashion. Following the sounds through the lush field, breathing in the sweet smell of the flowers and feeling the rejuvenating effects of the crisp, clean air, suddenly a village appears and your senses are once again delighted with new scents and sounds. Children dance in local costumes, a marching band makes their way down the street and food vendors wipe their brows as they dish up regional treats for visitors.
This beautiful image can be found only a few short hours from Beijing in Yu county, Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province. The first Zhangjiakou Tourism Development Industry Conference, with the theme of innovating tourism development, opened on August 26. For four days, conference goers, which included tourism industry leaders, investors, mainstream media reporters and heads of sports and leisure associations, attended the event. With more than 1,000 people in attendance, the event provided an in-depth understanding of the development of the tourism industry in Zhangjiakou and its vision, future planning and outlook.
Being named one of the cities that will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the area is undergoing vast and significant restoration and growth and invites visitors from all walks of life to come and enjoy the long history and beautiful local culture hidden away in the majestic mountains, scenic grasslands and ancient towns and structures throughout the area.
A goal for growth
In recent years, the area's tourism industry development has seen momentum. Zhangjiakou municipal government has identified "big tourism" as the leading industry to create an "international leisure sports tourism city" as an important goal for future development, and the Zhangjiakou tourism industry is ushering in huge historical opportunities and broad prospects for development.
From skiing to grassland tours, leisure travel to folk tourism, there is something for everyone.
Striving for growth the of the tourism industry, the first Zhangjiakou Tourism Development Industry Conference will help to firmly establish innovation, coordination and a green and open shared development concept to create a national tourism demonstration area to lead the organization and organize the 2022 Winter Olympics, comprehensively deepen the supply-side reform, create a comprehensive integration of tourism resources and promote the integration of the industry.
In addition, they will cultivate four-season tourism, improve public services, comprehensively reform the institutional mechanism to promote the city's tourism from a single scenic area to global development and build change in the area.
In 2016, the city received a total of 51.9 million tourists, an increase of 34.95 percent from the previous year.
A wealth of resources
In addition to the beautiful landscape, the area has been cultivated by its history and natural resources. Formerly known as Kalgan, the area has a history dating back thousands of years and was the main caravan route from Beijing to Inner Mongolia and beyond.
Zhangjiakou is also home to Yu county, which is the hometown of ancient traditions such as folk art and Chinese paper-cut art. As you are led into the restored villages, you take a glimpse into the ancient cultural arts of the past. Spectators were able to view the practice of paper cutting first hand and learn the techniques and history of this treasured art form. In addition, guests were invited to try their hand at paper cutting and painting in the classic styles from the past. In the display rooms, intricate paper cuttings were viewed, allowing visitors to take a journey through time and see the fruits of labor through paper cutting throughout the years.