The Silk Road re­dis­cov­ered

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By HU HAIDAN in New York haidanhu12@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

China wel­comed 2.08 mil­lion trav­el­ers from the US in 2013, the fourth-largest in­ter­na­tional group be­hind South Kore­ans, Ja­panese and Rus­sians, ac­cord­ing to China Na­tional Tourist Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CNTA) data.

And when most North Amer­i­can trav­el­ers visit China, they go to big cities like Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Xi’an.

But ac­cord­ing to Xiong Shan­hua, China Na­tional Tourist Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CNTA) deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, there are many more in­ter­est­ing tourism routes await­ing trav­el­ers to China — and the Silk Road is one of them.

To let more tourism agencies, des­ti­na­tion mag­a­zines and air­lines know about the Silk Road, CNTA hosted a pro­mo­tional event “Re­dis­cover the Silk Road @ Beau­ti­ful China” in New York City on Thurs­day.

The Silk Road has ac­com­pa­nied 5,000 years of Chi­nese cul­ture and his­tory. It orig­i­nated in Asia and ran for about 4,000 miles through the en­tire Eurasian con­ti­nent, bridg­ing East­ern and Western civ­i­liza­tions and Asian and Euro­pean economies, pol­i­tics, cul­ture and ide­olo­gies for cen­turies.

It is a se­ries of trade and cul­tural trans­mis­sion routes that were cen­tral to cul­tural in­ter­ac­tion through re­gions of the Asian con­ti­nent by link­ing traders, mer­chants and monks from China to the Mediter­ranean.

Xiong said the Silk Road was not only about silk and porce­lain.

“It was born in China, but was also in essence a di­a­logue be­tween East­ern and Western civ­i­liza­tions,” said Xiong. “Be­cause of it, in­ter­na­tional trade be­gan; friend­ship be­tween people de­vel­oped.”

“The Silk Road has ex­pe­ri­enced a vig­or­ous re­vival based on the rapid growth of China’s for­eign trade and cul­tural ex­changes. We hope that re­dis­cov­er­ing the Silk Road will build tighter re­la­tion­ships be­tween China and Western coun­tries,” he added.

Chi­nese tourism pro­mo­tional group rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the event were from prov­inces along the Silk Road, in­clud­ing Ningxia, Qing­hai, Shanxi, Ti­bet, In­ner Mon­go­lia, Shang­hai and He­nan.

Yang Tongde, vice-di­rec­tor of the mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sion of tourism de­vel­op­ment from Luoyang, the cap­i­tal city of He­nan prov­ince, said they are set up to wel­come for­eign trav­el­ers.

“He­nan is a his­tor­i­cal prov­ince in China. The Silk Road starts here. Also three out of eight an­cient cap­i­tals are in He­nan,” Yang said. “We are look­ing for­ward to more and more for­eign tourists to our beau­ti­ful prov­ince.”

Dou­glas Cooke, rep­re­sen­ta­tive from JAXFAX Travel Mar­ket­ing said some of the des­ti­na­tions are fas­ci­nat­ing.

“I talked to people from sev­eral pro­mo­tional booths. The travel in­for­ma­tion they showed me are so amaz­ing,” Cooke said. “I haven’t had the chance to travel to China yet, but now I feel that I have to.”

“Beau­ti­ful China”, a cam­paign started by CNTA in 2013, pro­motes Chi­nese tourism and has dis­trib­uted a new logo through many in­ter­na­tional me­dia out­lets around the world.

HU HAIDAN / CHINA DAILY

Xiong Shan­hua (left), deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion depart­ment of the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and Xue Yap­ing, di­rec­tor of China Na­tional Tourist Of­fice in New York, posted for a photo at 2014 “Re­dis­cover the Silk Road @ Beau­ti­ful China” pro­mo­tion event in New York City on Thurs­day.

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