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Yangtze River Tourism Area, First Trans-regional One in China
"To clean out tourism barriers or enter into the obstacle, to build up China's first non-obstacle tourism area across the regions and finally become the world-renowned tourism destination". This is the key point of the "Declaration for Cooperation of the Tourism Cities in Yangtze River Delta" jointly signed by 16 cities at the "Summit Forum of '15+1' Tourist Cities in Yangtze River Delta". And it was brought to an end on July 6.

According to the report of China Youth Daily, these '15+1' tourist cities are Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Changzhou, Nantong, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou, and Zhoushan, in combination with the Huangshan city in Anhui Province.

The Yangtze River Delta is economically the most vigorous area in China, also known as the "golden triangle" in China's tourism industry as well. Among the first batch of China's excellent tourism cities, 25 percent are located in this area with 48 of them being classified as 4A scenic spots, almost taking up 50 percent of the total 4A scenic attractions in China. Last year, the tourists domestic and foreign hosted in this area came respectively to 30 and 25 percent of the total received in China.

Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai are geographically adjacent to one another with similar historical and cultural backgrounds. The metropolitan and fashionable tourism resources in Shanghai, the gardening, the historical and humane culture in Jiangsu Province and the "landscape tours" in Zhejiang, each features the characteristics of its own, which can be made complementary to one another. However, the systematic obstacles in history, such as regional separation and disorderly competition, especially the similarity in economic structure of the cities in the Yangtze River Delta, has come to be the biggest barrier in the integration.

To hold this "Summit Forum of '15+1' Tourist Cities in Yangtze River Delta" is for strengthening the interactive cooperation among these cities, jointly building up a golden tourism circle in the Delta area by putting heads together for a brisk regional tourism after the dying out of the SARS. It is clearly defined in the Declaration that a common understanding has been reached in many aspects in regard with the cooperation projects and action plans. This include the strengthening of regional tourism cooperation, shaping the regional tourism brands, integrating and protecting the tourism resources and products, exchanging and sharing the tourism information and providing convenient measures for the Delta tours.

As introduced, when the tourism cooperation in the Delta cities is realized, the "economy curbed by administrative areas" can be reduced to a minimum and the cities will be able to build "the world sixth group of metropolises -- the Yangtze River Delta in China" by using the same image for tourism promotion. Meanwhile, the system of "local guide" in domestic travel will be cancelled. A travel agency can finish all the guide services in domestic travel in the Delta. Measures to restrict the entrance of tour coaches from other regions will also be revoked with the uniformed "citizenship treatment" practiced. Travel agencies will be permitted to open branches in other cities with the form of an industry chain encouraged, thereby putting up the first non-impediment tourism, a special tourism area in China. Besides, the traffic network will be constructed in order to realize a three-hour drive between any of the two cities in the Delta.

(People's Daily July 8, 2003)

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