Dongying, a coastal city in East China’s Shandong province, is working to promote integrated development of the cultural tourism industry by making use of its Yellow River cultural resources and unique ecological landscape.
The Yellow River, China’s second-longest waterway, is widely dubbed the “mother river” throughout the country.
Dongying, where the Yellow River empties into the sea, has undergone significant cultural development due to the impact of the river, and the Yellow River Delta boasts an exquisite biological beauty, creating lucrative tourism opportunities.
For years, local authorities have been adhering to the integration of ecological protection, cultural inheritance, and high-quality development to develop cultural tourism projects along the Yellow River.
The Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve in the city has become an important wintering and stopover site for migratory birds due to the local government’s continuous efforts to restore the ecological environment over past years. It is dubbed as an “international airport for avian species”.
The number of avian species living in the wetland has risen from 187 in 1992 to 371 in 2022, while the total bird population has reached roughly 3 million to 4 million, which attracts large numbers of tourists. Dongying currently became the world’s largest breeding ground for the oriental white stork, a rare migratory species.
Last year, visitors from home and abroad made 16.46 million trips to Dongying, generating a tourism revenue of 17.11 billion yuan ($2.54 billion), according to statistics from the city government.
Dongying is utilizing its ecological resources, bird views, and Yellow River landscape to build the city into cultural tourism destination focusing on Yellow River culture.
More efforts have been made in exploring the cultural connotation of the Yellow River, developing high-quality cultural tourism projects and organizing various cultural tourism activities. Nearly 20 online and offline activities such as cycling along the Yellow River have been launched this year.
In addition, Dongying is focusing on the combination of Yellow River culture and digital innovation to boost Yellow River culture awareness, said Li Huifen, director of the Dongying municipal cultural and tourism bureau.
The city plans to build digital cultural tourism innovation and entrepreneurship industry bases and six future-themed immersive scenic areas to form a cultural, tourism and business complex.