By Yuling Chen, Editor
Liu Qi, Director of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, took a group interview after the morning session of the First International Symposium on Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy Tourism in China held in Chongqing, on October 16, 2018. He briefed on Chongqing’s advantages in hot springs and elaborated on three innovative aspects that the symposium signals, namely climatotherapy, international research and operation team as well as health and wellness tourism.
Chongqing is famous for its hot springs. In 2011, Ministry of Land and Resources of People’s Republic of China, now known as Ministry of Natural Resources, has given Chongqing the title of “China’s Capital of Hot Springs”. In the next year, Chongqing has been awarded as “Global Capital of Hot Springs” by the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy.
The southwestern municipality in China endeavors for an upgraded version of hot springs, and to give a full play of its unique advantages. Chongqing has fresh air, lucid waters and lush mountains. And tourism in such a good place represent a breakthrough point for Chongqing to promote its high-quality development. In that context, hot spring tourism stands out in Chongqing, and the symposium on hydrotherapy and climatotherapy comes here .
When taking about innovation specific to this symposium, Director Liu mentioned climatotherapy at the first place. Compared with Europe, who has experiences in climatotherapy about four decades, Chongqing did not make good use of meteorological data to improve people’s wellness. But it is not the case now. At this symposium, it is the first time for China to proposed the notion of climatotherapy with the support of its weather bureau. Speaking of China’s southwestern municipality, Chongqing is famous as furnace in the country for its hot weather there. "People used to be scared of Chongqing's scorching summer," Mr. Liu Qi said and added, "In fact, high temperatures and good ecology for natural sauna, hot pot and hot spring in summer can be developed as climatotherapy programs. The uniqueness will be attractive."
Second, an international operation team is also an aspect of innovation. In order to promote climatotherapy in a professional way, Chongqing has appointed many experts for the Asia-Pacific Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy Tourism Research Center. Doing climatotherapy well requires a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and advanced foreign technologies and expertise. Taking the symposium as a platform, Chongqing is going to promote the international development of hot springs in Chongqing. The municipality works as the research and operation center. Moreover, the Asia-Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition, a regional body linking the national spa associations of the Asia-Pacific nations, will do its part for the spa industry development internationally. In the near future, hot spring tourism in Chongqing will become an industry, which combines sightseeing, health and wellness, sports and cultural experience.
Third, Chongqing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, as a host of the symposium, promotes health and wellness tourism. Clinics and hospitals are for patients who have ailments or diseases. They get treatment in a certain place, but health and wellness tourism provides a “migrant” way to maintain health and wellness.
The “World Hot Spring Center” program concerning climatotherapy does not mean to build new hot spring resorts, but it is designed to pool relevant resources, including quality climatotherapy resources as a mountain city, and make tailored heath plans on par with the international standards. For the time being, Chongqing needs to improve its infrastructure and facilities.
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