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Ningbo fair showcases latest in cultural tourism achievements

By YIN RUOWEI| China Daily| Updated: November 30, 2021 L M S


Clockwise from top: Cihu Lake in Jiangbei district of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, is an ecological tourist attraction. The Tianyi Pavilion in Haishu district of Ningbo is a popular historical site. Officials attend the opening ceremony of the 2021 China (Ningbo) Cultural Industries Fair being held in Ningbo from Nov 26 to 30. CHINA DAILY

Conference takes stock of enormous economic development the industry has created

More than 330 of China's top cultural tourism enterprises are participating in the ongoing 2021 China (Ningbo) Cultural Industries Fair, which opened in the port city in Zhejiang province on Nov 26 and ends on Tuesday.

Cultural tourism enterprises from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, among other areas, are taking part in the NBCIF online, and are showcasing their achievements in fields such as film, television, animation, bed and breakfasts and antique collections.

Ningbo has hosted the NBCIF for the past five years, and the scale of the exhibition, the number of visitors, the level of internationalization and the trade opportunities created by the fair have risen each time, said Li Guijun, deputy head of the publicity department of the Ningbo committee of the Communist Party of China.

The fair is hosted by the publicity department of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the CPC, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, and the Ningbo city government. It is organized by the publicity department of the Ningbo CPC committee, the Ningbo bureau of culture, radio, television and tourism, and the State-owned Ningbo Culture & Tourism Group.

"It is not only an important engine to steer the growth of Ningbo's cultural tourism industry but a key platform to expand Chinese cultural influence in the world," Li said.

Under the theme of sharing opportunities brought by cultural tourism and promoting cultural prosperity, the fair aims to empower Ningbo's development as a coastal metropolis and a city that will achieve common prosperity.

Chen Gang, chairman of Ningbo Culture & Tourism Group, said that the NBCIF has attracted many digital enterprises such as Hangzhou Teemax Network and Yokelight, which will help Ningbo digitalize its cultural products. Backed up by high-tech entertainment service providers inside and outside Ningbo-including Maoyan Entertainment, Tiangong and Bodi Media-the fair has presented a holistic picture of its achievements in culture, finance and technology.

Highlights of the online exhibitions include a display of Ningbo's gourmet food in a documentary directed by Chen Xiaoqing, an event held by the Spiritual Wealth Club, also known as Fan Deng's Book Club, and an interview with Cong Zhiqiang, an associate art professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

The interview with Cong shined a spotlight on how to achieve rural vitalization via art. Cong noted several obstacles and how to address them. He put forward many thought-provoking ideas for village revitalization, in line with the fair's focus on boosting emerging industries and creating distinctive agricultural products in rural areas, broadening market access and fueling growth in ecotourism.

In addition, the Third Smart Culture and Tourism Conference kicked off on Nov 26, during which scholars and experts on the economy, tourism and culture shared their viewpoints on the development and latest trends of cultural tourism. A 24-hour livestream began at 7 pm on Nov 26, during which artisans promoted Ningbo's relics, folk culture, opera and food.

Local authorities said that a great number of activities are on Douyin, the Chinese version of video-sharing app TikTok. Viewers cannot only comment on and discuss topics concerning Ningbo's traditional and modern way of life during the fair, but purchase affordable cultural tourism-related products via livestreams.

Digital coupons worth 5 million yuan ($782,500) are being issued to residents to assist local consumption. They can be used at more than 200 businesses across the city, such as hotels, Chinese-style B&B, scenic spots, restaurants, libraries, cinemas and amusement parks.

By the end of the third quarter of this year, Ningbo had more than 50,000 registered cultural enterprises. The added value of local cultural and creative industries surged from 58.6 billion yuan in 2016 to 98.7 billion yuan in 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 14.1 percent. The proportion of GDP generated by cultural and creative industries in the city's GDP lifted from 6.9 percent to 8 percent.

To date, the NBCIF has become a Ningbo calling card, local authorities said. Its influence has gone beyond the cultural industry and has become an important symbol of the city's economic and social development and an embodiment of its image and comprehensive strength.