China Promotes Tourism on Silk Road

BEIJING ~ China will link its sections of the Silk Road into a single, sprawling tourism zone to streamline management and promotion of the historic trading route, state media reported.

The new plan will eliminate existing administrative boundaries that inhibit effective management of the 2,100-year-old route, which winds for over 3,000 kilometers through six Chinese provinces and regions that now all have their own tourism plans, the China Daily newspaper said.

“In the future, we will promote the area globally as a famous brand of Chinese tourism,” Wu Wenxue, planning and finance director of the China National Tourism Administration, was quoted as saying.

A “new management mechanism” would be set up for the tourism zone, the paper said, without adding any details.

Stretching a total of 10,000 kilometers, from China through Central Asia to the Mediterranean, the interconnected series of routes facilitated trade and cultural exchanges between Europe and the Orient.

The paper said the plan “could pave the way for future possible tourism cooperation with countries in Central Asia and West Asia.”

The project would include newly designed travel routes and tourism products and was expected to be finished in November, it said.

Several sites along the Chinese part of the route are listed as UN World Heritage sites, including the Mogao Grottoes in western China’s Gansu Province, parts of the Great Wall and the Longmen Grottoes in central Henan province.

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