West Coast New Area

Coastal city plays up its unique history, charm and natural beauty

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | 2023-03-25

A renowned tourist spot in China, coastal city Qingdao in Shandong province is an ideal destination with natural landscapes such as mountains, trees and blue sea coupled with the unique fusion of historical and modern charms.

The 2023 Shandong Tourism Development Conference, to kick off in Qingdao from March 26 to 27, will highlight the integration of mountains, seas, bays, rich cultural heritage, and opening-up of the city. It will also reflect on the latest trends of cultural tourism in the new era and accelerate the region's march toward an international coastal tourism destination.

Qingdao is launching major initiatives to stabilize market order, improve the environment, upgrade services of scenic spots, develop marine and island tourism and upgrade infrastructure.

By 2025, the scale of Qingdao's cultural tourism industry is expected to reach more than 350 billion yuan ($51.09 billion), making the city into a world-class coastal area suitable for living, working and traveling with core competitiveness.

Qingdao is taking key measures to accelerate its tourism industry. Its 101 A-level scenic spots will continue to improve infrastructure such as renovating tourist service centers and guiding signs. The Qingdao old town has started the construction of 5A-level scenic spots, while the Yunyou Qingdao smart cultural tourism platform has been launched, centering on the five major brands of marine tourism, industrial tourism, film capital, museum and art city. The platform has attracted 500 cultural tourism enterprises.

As a well-known coastal tourism and resort city at China and abroad, Qingdao's ocean tourism attracts a large number of tourists every year. The city has started a campaign to improve its tourism quality and made remarkable efforts in areas such as expanding sea tourism routes and accelerating the development of key islands.

Pan Feng, Party secretary of the Qingdao bureau of culture and tourism, said Qingdao has opened seven sea travelling routes covering the ferry services from the Olympic Sailing Center to Taiqing. Since the operation on Jan 22, the route from the Olympic Sailing Center to the Qingdao Underwater World has become a star route with the number of tourists exceeding 5,000 in a single day.

Pan said Qingdao is speeding up the planning and construction of Zhucha Island to create a model for island tourism.

Zhucha Island has completed the overall planning of landscape construction such as homestays and tourist centers.

Pan said Qingdao will launch one or two large-scale projects on tourism performing arts around themes such as history, ocean and regional culture. Among them, the Tangdao Bay project has constructed surrounding landscape facilities and is expected to complete all work in June and open in September.

The city is building 32 courtyard performing arts spots where more than 300 performances will be staged including operas, concerts, folk arts and original plays.

The interaction between cruise ships and cultural tourism is also a hot spot in the tourism industrial development. Qingdao connects the two major economic circles of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Yangtze River Delta regions and faces Japan and South Korea across the sea. It has obvious geographical advantages and is the only professional cruise port in Shandong.

In August last year, five ministries and commissions including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism jointly issued the Implementation Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Cruise Yacht Equipment and Industry, proposing to promote the development of cruise tourism in Qingdao and create a group of world-class cruise tourism destinations.

To this end, Qingdao has formulated the Supporting Measures for the High-Quality Development of Cruise Tourism in Qingdao.

The measures are mostly aimed at giving policy incentives to cruise companies, travel agencies and other enterprises engaged in cruise tourism business in Qingdao. According to Zhao Yan, vice-mayor of Qingdao, the reward policy covers five parts.


Qingdao in Shandong province is an ideal destination with natural landscape. SONG ZHE/FOR CHINA DAILY