Chongqing- The 6th Chongqing Sports Tourism Industry Development Conference was held over 16-17 February in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, aimed at promoting high-quality development and construction for modern sports cities.
The conference in Nanchuan District also featured a meeting of the Chengdu-Chongqing Sports Industry Alliance, which combined to promote boutique sports tourism products and routes within the economic circle, while industry experts shared their vision and strategies to achieve long-term success.
Nanchuan District has achieved impressive results in the integration of sports and tourism over recent years, as evidenced by the successful release of outdoor sports and leisure projects such as skiing at Jinfo Mountain, rafting at Shenlong Gorge, camping at Shanwangping, kayaking at Lixiang Lake, as well as the adventurous options of cliff-edge via ferrata, off-road motorcycling, and paragliding, which have combined to offer tourists a three-dimensional experience covering water, land, and air.
In 2022, Nanchuan received 35.51 million tourists, with comprehensive tourism revenue attaining an impressive figure of 21.1 billion yuan (about USD 3.07 billion). Furthermore, the city has a strong reputation for livability thanks to a high forest coverage rate and pleasant climate, while a supporting industry base for intelligent networked electric vehicles has driven economic growth ranking fifth in Chongqing Municipality. Ecological advantages and sustainable development have helped thrust Nanchuan District to regional prominence.
During a lineup of opening speeches, Ding Zhongping, Secretary of the Communist Party of China Nanchuan District Committee, outlined the future direction for sports tourism from both local and regional perspectives. These involve making Nanchuan a first-choice destination for outdoor sports, integrating a public service system between rural and urban areas in sports city development, and deepening cooperation within the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle to promote sports industry development jointly.
Included among the list of exciting prospects are the Jinfo Mountain Marathon, the construction of well-being town projects integrating sports and tourism, fitness promenades along the three rivers and six banks of Nanchuan, intelligent service systems to promote fitness including digital maps, facility reservations, event publicity, and even the promotion of sports dating.
Meanwhile, further integration between Chongqing and Sichuan will promote cultivating talent in sports and related businesses and products in a mutually beneficial “Tale of Two Cities.”
One day before the conference, attendees toured three attractions in the locality of Nanchuan, showcasing this city's credentials in developing sports and leisure tourism and hosting this important event bringing together industry figures from across Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province.
Jinhua Sports Park was previously a barren hill covering 30 acres of land on the outskirts of Nanchuan. However, an investment totaling one hundred million yuan has transformed this location into the district’s most prominent sports and leisure park, with a complete range of facilities and functionality. The park offers attractive hill pathways, exercise equipment, ball courts, public squares, and children’s play areas. This high-quality sports and leisure development model now directly serves the needs of 100,000 local residents.
Lixiang Lake sits at an elevation of 800 meters, with a surrounding forest coverage rate of 64 percent. A recent 4 billion yuan investment has taken advantage of the beautiful natural environment to create a resort integrating travel, sports, leisure, and entertainment. New attractions include wetland and fitness parks, kayaking activities, and outdoor campsites. As a result, Lixiang Lake has been recognized among the top ten new landmarks for cultural travel in Chongqing and Sichuan, as well as a boutique sports travel route in the region.
East Street is a renovated quarter of downtown Nanchuan city. As part of this 1.3 billion yuan project, the original architecture and street layout dating back four decades has been retained, which offers visitors an authentic “memory lane” experience that integrates shops, culture, travel, entertainment, and sports for all ages. This colorful and vibrant old town area lives up to the city’s reputation for sports tourism through various physical activities, such as wall climbing and zip lines, while a tall Ferris wheel stands majestically upon the highest tier.
Jinfo Mountain is a scenic area covering 1300 square kilometers of natural karst landforms replete with abundant sports and cultural resources. To better realize the potential for sports and leisure tourism behind this rich natural endowment, a 178-kilometer circular travel route has been created, so that main attractions are conveniently linked for a complete tourist experience. During a live address at the conference, Shi Chonggang, governor of Nanchuan District, introduced six headline products in local integrated sports tourism.
These feature a spectacular 13-kilometer hiking trail along the west slope of Jinfo Mountain, the largest alpine ski resort in Chongqing, the world’s highest rainwater cave system dating back 23 million years, a thrilling one-hour rafting experience amid the lush Shenlong Gorge in summer, differentiated via ferrata routes set on karst precipices suitable for beginners, intermediate and expert climbers, and professional camping bases such as the Nanchuan “Sleeping Buddha” Forest Park, which combine to offer a total of 8,500 spaces close to nature.
“In addition, we have compiled a development plan for high standards in the camping industry and strived to make camping in Nanchuan District transition from simply leisure to active participation in sports, and daytime visits to overnight stays to form a strong economic system,” Shi Chonggang explained.
Sichuan and Chongqing sports administrations have joined hands to take full advantage of opportunities to promote high-quality integrated development. For example, the Chengdu-Chongqing Sports Industry Alliance has organized the Bashan-Shushui consumption season themed on sports and leisure tourism for two consecutive years, as growth in the sports industry between Sichuan and Chongqing has entered the fast lane with an average in excess of 10 percent annually.
“My sincere hope is that guests in attendance can learn from each other, strengthen exchange, deepen cooperation, build more effective communication platforms, and jointly write a new chapter in sports industry development between Sichuan and Chongqing.”
In the context of the Bashu Cultural Tourism Corridor Construction Plan, cooperation will be strengthened with sister cities in Sichuan, including E’mei, Leshan, and Dujiangyan, to highlight balanced development with local characteristics and mutual complementarity, which combine to bring joint success to this “Tale of Two Cities” development pattern in the sports, culture, and tourism industries.
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