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Nantong: 'Natural museum' near the Shanghai Expo  

2010-04-02 14:13:32|  分类: 部分新闻作品 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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By Song Wenwei and Ding Congrong (China Daily)

Updated: 2010-04-02 07:21 Comments(0) PrintMail  Large Medium Small 

 

City mingles river and sea, waterways and city - and the lifestyle of its people

 

"The 2010 Shanghai Expo is just around the corner and we are ready to entertain visitors from home and abroad with our abundant cultural and natural treasures," Dai Ping, head of Nantong Tourism Bureau, told China Daily recently.

 Only about an hour's drive from Shanghai across the Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze River Bridge - which became the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world when it opened in 2008 - Nantong has been dubbed "a natural museum close to Shanghai" by locals because the city itself is a vivid showcase of rich cultures and tourism resources.

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 Nantong ranks among cities with the most museums and art galleries in China, including the nation's first modern museum, Nantong Museum founded in 1905 by Zhang Jian, a native son, educator and industrialist in the city in the early 20th century.

 Dai from the tourism bureau said Nantong is a favored choice for visitors to the Expo because Shanghai represents the modern while Nantong combines both the ancient and new.

 "Stepping onto the soil of this city, people will be fascinated by eco-tourism resources like Haohe River, Wolf Mountain, ancient architecture and museums and the harmonious mingling of river and sea, waterways and city, and the city and its people," said Dai.

 Blessed with a rare location, the city is flanked by both the Yangtze River and the Yellow Sea, which not only help its economic development, but also provide a colorful variety of sea and river food.

 

"I am sure visitors to the Expo will linger around the city once they are here to enjoy the delicious fish, crabs, lobsters, shrimps and shellfish cooked in different cuisines," Dai said.

 

To cater to the needs of tourists from various regions, Dai's team have meticulously designed five tour routes to give a panoramic picture of the city's history, culture, natural beauty and city life.

 

"Any of the five trips will help people better understand the Expo theme of 'Better city, Better life'," Dai said.

 

Work has also been completed to improve the quality of service.

 

"No matter where you are from, you won't get lost in the city as information signs are written in Chinese, English and French," Dai said. "You will get help from people who can speak English when needed. You will feel at home here in Nantong."

 

Fast growth

 

Nantong's tourism has developed rapidly over the past few years, especially since Dai took the post as head of Nantong Tourism Bureau in 2005, and has contributed greatly to the city's economic development.

 

Statistics show that the number of tourists tripled from 2005 to 2009, reaching 15 million and generating more than 18 billion yuan in revenues.

 

"We achieved the fast growth by changing our attitude from passively waiting for visitors to active publicizing our tourism resources to attract visitors from home and abroad," Dai said.

 

Every year, Dai and his team travel to other cities and countries to tap the potential market for Nantong.

 

The city now has 28 national-level scenic spots, 110 travel agencies, 15 four- or five-star hotels, including four five-star hotels under construction.

 

"With the Shanghai Expo coming, we are fully prepared to receive as many visitors who want to come over from Shanghai," said Dai.

 

He estimates that the city's tourism revenue will continue to grow at about 20 percent this year.

 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009worldexpo/2010-04/02/content_9678531.htm

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