West Coast New Area

An alluring cultural wonderland for tourists

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | 2023-07-19

According to official data, Qingdao of East China's Shandong province has received more than 1 million visits daily this summer, attracted by opportunities to explore breathtaking beaches, historical landmarks and vibrant nighttime tours.

The coastal city's rich tourism assets include such famous landmarks as Zhan Bridge, Xiaoyu Mountain, Badaguan — or Eight Great Passes — and the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. In recent years, it has continued to utilize its resources to develop new business patterns. Visitors to Qingdao can now also enjoy exploring internet-famous attractions like Xiaomai Island and the light show in Wusi Square.

A concerted effort to promote the upgrading and improvement of historical sites has helped the city greatly expand its tourism base. For example, Zhongshan Road, Silverfish Street and Dabao Island have become must-see attractions for visitors keen to experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear, while a variety of cultural activities, including the tea-tasting culture of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and candy painting demonstrations at quaint shops provide opportunities to sample the charm of the old city.

Deep travel in Qingdao encompasses several options, with a heavy focus on exploring the diversity of life. Homestays in seaside and rural areas provide insightful options for healthy lifestyles, while study tours, camping, fishing and wildlife photography afford visitors opportunities to share unique experiences.

Another highlight is Qingdao's nighttime tourism. Apart from night markets, bars and light shows, the city has developed its nighttime economy in concert with new business patterns to satisfy demands for more personalized experiences. Shops in Shangjieli, the city's brand commercial area, are open until 11 pm Monday to Thursday and on Sunday, and until 3 am on Friday and Saturday. Moreover, scenic areas such as the Qingdao Horticultural Exposition Park and the Qingdao Polar Ocean World have injected a new vibrancy into the city's economy by initiating nighttime activities ranging from fireworks and summer parties to immersive musical performances.

According to official data, the city's Taidong Pedestrian Street received 1.76 million visits during this year's May Day holiday, four times than in 2022, while total operating revenue during the five-day break topped 100 million yuan ($13.9 million).

Even with the impressive strides Qingdao has made in growing its tourism base, the city has work to do to achieve its goal of becoming an international coastal tourism destination. Efforts are ongoing to mobilize resources and develop new business patterns to provide both residents and visitors with more opportunities for participation, and Qingdao has learned from cities like Shanghai and Suzhou to introduce and construct landmarks that combine culture and tourism.


Tourists buy noodle-based snacks from a vendor at the Taidong Pedestrian Street in Qingdao. CUI DONGNI/FOR CHINA DAILY