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A conference to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Wulong Karst’s successful inclusion into the World Natural Heritage List was held in Wulong District, southwest China’s Chongqing. This conference aimed to continuously leverage the brand value of the World Natural Heritage Site and better build an exchange bridge to introduce Wulong to the world. According to the Publicity Department of Wulong District, Chongqing Municipality, the conference’s main themes include the precious site’s stringent conservation, ongoing inheritance, and sustainable utilization.
Wulong, which is situated in the lower Wujiang River to the southeast of Chongqing, has easy access to roads, railroads, waterways, and civil airports. Wulong tourism began to increase in 1994, the year that Furong Cave was made accessible to the general public. The Wulong Karst was designated as Chongqing’s first World Natural Heritage Site in 2007. It was recognized by the United Nations in 2015 as a sustainable development model city. Wulong launched its second tourism business venture in 2008 with the main objective of boosting tourism numbers and the industry’s overall economy. Wulong District is currently a national 5A tourist destination, a national tourism resort, and a World Natural Heritage Site.
Wulong saw 40.7 million visitors in 2021, which is 20 times more than in 2008, and a total of 19.73 billion yuan in tourism revenue, which is 19.6 times more than in 2008. In Wulong, the tourism sector’s sustainable growth has benefited the local economy, society, and environment while creating a beneficial feedback loop with regard to the preservation of the area’s natural heritage.
According to Yuan Daoxian, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wulong has undergone significant development over the last 15 years, achieving remarkable social, economic, and cultural successes. These are directly tied to Wulong’s efforts to maintain and conserve its cultural heritage as well as its successful inclusion on the World Natural Heritage List.
The tourist sector has undergone extensive and all-encompassing changes as a result of the stratification and individuation of tourism consumption demand as well as the specialization and sophistication of tourism development models. In February of this year, Wulong District began its third entrepreneurial effort in promoting local tourism, with a focus on going worldwide, in an effort to successfully address new issues. The local government has made the decision to hasten Wulong’s transformation into a well-known tourist destination and a demonstration place for green development innovation.
Wulong has created a strategy with 165 cultural tourism projects worth a combined 140.6 billion yuan in investment to assist local tourism become international. The plan called for the establishment of six industrial chains, including those for research, sports, the arts, health care, marriage, and services. It also encouraged the close fusion of tourism with industry, agriculture, building, and contemporary services.
In order to attain widespread prosperity fueled by tourism, the most recent push for tourism development looks beyond simply increasing the number of visitors. Since its launch, the campaign has produced observable results. Wulong saw 14.85 million visitors from January to May of this year, up 11.5 percent from the same period last year, and its entire tourism revenue rose to 6.53 billion yuan, up 12.7 percent.