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Changsha wants to be an international tourist destination in China

The government of Changsha in the Central China province of Hunan plans to develop the city into an internationally renowned tourist destination by 2020, officials said.

BEIJING- In 2013, more than 1 million tourists from more than 80 countries and regions around the world visited Changsha, according to officials in the city tourism administration. Changsha is a place where ancient heritage sites mingle with modern skyscrapers that stretch up into the clouds.

The Mawangdui Tombs of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), the ancient Yuelu Academy and its copper kiln are testaments to the city’s 3,000-year history.
Local tourism officials say one of the city’s highlights is its beautiful natural scenery, which includes national forest parks, such as Dawei Mountain, and key national scenic spots, such as Yuelu Mountain and Juzi Island.

“Changsha city government has added more than 80 community parks in the past three years and 700,000 square meters of green space,” said government officials.

The city also has many varieties of flowers and plants planted in grassy medians along main roads and important areas, so the city appears as if it is in a perpetual state of springtime.

“It takes less than 15 minutes from home to find a park or roadside green space to take a rest, and it’s quite common throughout the city,” said Yi Jingping, member of the Changsha Committee of the CPPCC.

The local government has paid special attention to ecological protection. “Mountains and water are precious natural resources, and we have to protect them in the process of urban development,” said Zhang Jianfei, the mayor of Changsha. He also pointed out that it is the responsibility of the government to maintain a good ecological environment.
The city government has built seven waste water treatment plants over the past five years, and thousands of major restaurants have signed deals with professional companies to dispose of their daily waste, according to government officials.

A 1,200-sq-km area on the west bank of Xiangjiang River was set aside as a model zone for ecological development by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2012.
In addition to the desirable ecological conditions, Changsha is also famous for its distinctive cuisine. Tucked away in hidden allies, various local specialties draw guests from the four corners of the world.

For instance, Pozi Street has many time-honored brands, such as the Fire Palace, which is 300 years old and famous for its preserved bean curd. The city’s renowned steamed delicacies, tasty seafood and stewed soup take tourists to new frontiers of flavor.
There is also a food belt along the Xiangjiang River, where tourists can savor local food while admiring the beautiful scenery.

The local government has also gone abroad to promote its tourism industry and has set up offices in such countries as Australia, South Korea and Japan to offer services, officials said.
(Source: China Daily)

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.