West China Cities Cooperate On Tourism

Twenty-four tourism cities from western China, including Xi'an, Kunming, Chengdu, Nanning, Guilin, Urumuqi, and Huhehot, have signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of strengthening regional cooperation and bringing the tourism resources of western China into full play.

On a meeting held in March 2009, tourism bureaus of the 24 cities decided to strengthen the promotion of the region's tourism image and brand as a whole, and launch a barrier-free tourism zone by jointly marketing such travel products as the New Long March Red Travel and Discovery Trips to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The 24 cities also agreed to set up a West China tourism cooperation and development alliance to study and discuss major issues, policies and measures regarding regional tourism cooperation. In addition, they will initiate the West China Tourism Cooperation and Development Alliance Action Plan 2009 to realize their goals.

It is understood that China's tourism declined dramatically in 2008 due to the blizzard, the Sichuan earthquake, and the global financial crisis year. Because of this China National Tourism Administration put forward a strategy of further encouraging the market and regional development. Featuring rich tourism resource, west China, which occupies 71.4% of the country's land-mass, has about half of the country's topmost officially approved scenic spots.