HANGZHOU, China, Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hangzhou, the "paradise on earth" known for the historical and cultural heritages of the Grand Canal and West Lake, now launches 120 social scenic spots to bring immersive travel experience for international tourists.
Developed in the course of 13 years, the new social scenic spots aim to upgrade the tourism in Hangzhou from traditional scenic spot-centric sightseeing to enjoying Hangzhou from all aspects of urban lifestyle, including agricultural tourism, social engagement, public service and more.
Among the 120 social scenic spots announced, 20 exemplary and 20 recommended destinations were selected as leading models that will help push forward Hangzhou's exploitation of international tourism products.
Xiling Seal Art Society, a Chinse arts organization founded in 1904, is the longest living and most influential professional seal art club in the world formed by specialists in seal engraving, calligraphy and painting. As an exemplary social scenic spot, the society is open for free to tourists who wish to experience the national intangible cultural heritage in the beautiful lake and mountain environment. One can also try engraving souvenirs during the visit for extra fee.
Dream Town is another exemplary social scenic spot which highlights Hangzhou's world-leading Internet technology industry. Located next to Alibaba's headquarter and closely tied to the talent and industrial advantages of Hangzhou's Future Sci-Tech City, Dream Town has become a new example of characteristic town and garden city tourism as the home of Internet entrepreneurship. The admission is 50 yuan per person (USD 7.54) and reservations need to be made a week in advance.
Hangzhou's unique urban tourism experience comes from its relaxing lifestyle and a balanced social and cultural atmosphere that elegantly mixes history with modernity, which is in contrast with many cities' heavy historical cultural DNA. Its treasured scenic spots, such as the 2,400-year-old Grand Canal and iconic West Lake, are not only important monuments to human civilization, but also support a colorful culture that have produced unique products such as food, fashion, and folk art.
In 2017, Hangzhou was featured in the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF)'s joint city tourism performance research as one of the 15 best practice cities in tourism, which noted that "Hangzhou firmly puts 'tourism and [the] leisure industry' under its major spotlight," with its development efforts resulting in 16 straight years of double-digit increases in the number of visitors and tourism-related revenue growth that outpaces those statistics
Hangzhou's thriving tourism industry now includes 120 scenic spots with top quality rankings, including 3 at the AAAAA-level, 34 AAAA-level, 24 AAA-level and 9 AAs. In 2016, the annual operating income of city's travel agencies reached 18.823 billion yuan (US$2.84 billion), an increase of 22.35 percent over 2015.
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Host city of the 2016 G20 summit, Hangzhou was called "the world's most magnificent city" by Marco Polo. Home to tea and silk, it continues its legacy from the flourishing Song dynasty's capital to a vibrant and dazzling metropolis with World Heritage sites, scenic natural vistas and profound Chinese culture. Located 50 minutes from Shanghai by high-speed rail, Hangzhou offers a 144-hour visa-free transit.
SOURCE Hangzhou Tourism Commission