Many people in China are just getting back to work after the long Labor Day weekend. And with only three days to travel, the outskirts of Shanghai is a popular destination for local vacationers.
Hu Nan reports from one of China’s most famous so-called water towns.
Ancient water town Tongli attracts touristsMany people in China are just getting back to work after the long Labor Day weekend. And with only three days to travel, the outskirts of Shanghai is a popular destination for local vacationers.
For many Chinese escaping the hustle and bustle of city life to enjoy cool, relaxing waters is the perfect three-day holiday. The ancient city of Tongli was founded over 1,000 years ago. It is the only ancient town in China with a world cultural heritage site, the Tuisi Garden, also known as the Garden of Retreat and Meditation.
Tongli is different from other water towns. The rise in tourism hasn’t forced locals to leave their homes. Officials say the town’s originality is one of its greatest selling points.
Dozens, even hundreds, of water towns around Shanghai are attracting millions of tourists every year. Regulating the industry so that it benefits local residents is a problem. But people are looking for solutions.
During China’s last national holiday, Tongli attracted over 800,000 tourists in seven days. On one day, nearly 60,000 tourists came. Water town tourism has become a pillar industry for the local economy.