Clipper Race generates new regional growth
Though this is the seventh time for the Clipper Round the World Race to include Qingdao as a host port on its global racing route, it is the first time that the Clipper Race fleet is docking at the newly-opened Wanda Yacht Club in the West Coast New Area of Qingdao.
Zhang Leina, deputy head of the Qingdao West Coast New Area.[Photo/WeChat account: Qingdao sailing capital]
Zhang Leina, deputy head of the Qingdao West Coast New Area, said that the change signifies that the area's efforts in creating the coastal city's iconic brand "China's Sailing Capital" has gained recognition and trust.
According to Zhang, the area's GDP in 2017 amounted to 300 billion yuan ($47.39 billion). While placing emphasis on developing economy, the area also attaches great importance to strengthening its soft power by building brands with local features such as "Beer City", "the Island of Music", "the City of Film and TV" and "the Center of Exhibition", while also putting efforts in promoting the sports industry.
With an area of over 7,000 square kilometers including a sea area of 5,000 sq km, the area is rich in beach and island resources, which is an ideal location for water sports.
Zhang added that, cooperation with the important global yacht race this time makes a great opportunity for the area to display its social achievements.
The night landscape of Qingdao West Coast New Area. [Photo/WeChat account: Qingdao sailing capital]
During the stopover of the Clipper Race fleet, skippers could experience a variety of cultural activities unique to the area, such as folk culture, unique tourism, sailing events and art shows.
According to Zhang, the area will continue to improve the region's sports facilities construction, such as the Wanda Yacht Club wharfs, Qingdao International Yacht Exhibition Center, Tangdaowan Yachting Training Base, Qingdao Canoeing Training Base and other supporting facilities, open training bases and wharfs to the public, and build more places suitable for sailing.
Clipper Race fleet dock at Wanda Yacht Club in the West Coast New Area of Qingdao. [Photo/WeChat account: Qingdao sailing capital]
Meanwhile, adjacent commercial complexes will also be developed to leverage the emerging sports industry.
Zhang added that the area will continue the "sailboats into campus" activity to strengthen the education of sailing culture and knowledge. The area will introduce more leading sailing sports training institutions from both home and abroad, and host all levels of sailing competitions to promote sailing culture as well as Qingdao's brand as being "China's Sailing Capital".