By Keqiao Cheng, EDITOR
China's western city of Chongqing, awarded as the global capital of hot springs, is abundant in the geothermal resource.
In the one-hour-driving reach of Chongqing city center, there are several famous hot spring resorts. Based on their location, they are divided into South, North, East, West, and Central Hot Springs areas.
The area of North Hot Springs is one of the most luxury hot spring resorts in China. Some large luxury hotels have gathered here, such as Banyan Tree and Bolian Spa & Resorts, etc.
The South Hot Springs area is abundant in geothermal resource and has a long history. But currently, it has not been well planned for future development.
The West Hot Springs is located in the west end of Chongqing city. It is also a well developed hot spring resorts area and has a national-wide reputation.
As for the East Hot Springs, it has the largest reserve among all the hot springs in Chongqing, with over 4.5 billion cubic meters. Besides, it possesses geothermal caverns which are very rare worldwide. In addition, the nude bathing tradition of Han Chinese people is well kept here.
At last, the Central Hot Springs has a tremendous advantage when speaking of transport. Because it is actually located in the urban area of Chongqing. The well-known Ronghui Hot Springs Resorts is also located in this area.
In the first place, as the global capital of hot springs, Chongqing has an incomparable reserve of hot springs among all cities in China. The hot springs here are rich in more than 30 kinds of trace elements, which are good for health and beauty.
Secondly, most of the hot spring resorts are not far away from the city center, which is another favorable factor that would affect the tourists’ choice.
In addition, as a popular touristic destination, Chongqing has already built over 40 hot spring resorts, including types like mountain hot springs, lake view hot springs, riverside hot springs, etc. The architect style of the resorts varies from antique to modern, and from eastern to western.
In April 2011, Chongqing was awarded as China’s Hot Spring Capital by the Ministry of Land and Resources of China.
In October 2012, Chongqing was awarded as Global Capital of Hot Springs by the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy.
Apart from the awards that Chongqing has acquired, this city has a 1500-year history in hot spring exploitation and development. The North Hot Spring in Chongqing is one of the oldest hot spring resort in the world.
According to the location of the hot springs and the market demand, the hot spring industry in Chongqing has made a development plan.
In each of the five hot springs areas in urban Chongqing, i.e. the North, the South, the West, the East, and the Central, there will be 2 key hot spring resorts projects. Thus in total, it will be 10.
Inside the One-Hour Economic Circle, which is centered at the city proper of Chongqing and covers 23 of Chongqing's districts and counties at one hour's driving distance, it will build a series of about 100 hot spring resorts for tourists.
Furthermore, the hot spring industry will aim at Chongqing’s northeast Three Gorges scenic area and the southeast ethnic eco-tourism region along the Wu River.
It is expected the hot spring industry in Chongqing will achieve its ambitious goals by 2020, i.e. to build 200 hot spring resorts, 15 classic hot-spring-tour routes, a huge water park, a research center on hot spring, an education and training center for hot spring industry, and a health center.
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