BEIJING, April 29, 2024 -- In recent years, Quanzhou City in southeast China's Fujian Province has been strengthening cultural heritage protection, creating new paths for cultural heritage promotion, thus remarkably propelling cultural tourism growth and achieving win-win scenario for cultural heritage protection and cultural tourism development.

"When bidding for the World Heritage List, Quanzhou had made great efforts in cultural heritage protection and restoration, preserving lots of precious cultural heritage," said Xiao Yuqin, an official with Fujian Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage, adding that the city made even more efforts on cultural heritage protection after it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural site.

A slew of measures have been put in place, including issuing laws and regulations, streamlining institutions and recruiting professionals.

While the cultural heritage sites in Quanzhou are not isolated, they are vibrant and down-to-earth. Local people live and interact with them. It is learned that most cultural heritage sites in Quanzhou are free of charge for local people and tourists.

Quanzhou's tourism has been boosted after it was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2023, Quanzhou received nearly 86.53 million tourist visits, registering a year-on-year increase of 53.9 percent, with the total tourism income topping 100 billion yuan (about 13.8 billion U.S. dollars), up 68.9 percent year on year.

The city is also very creative in its tourism marketing, both online and offline. It established the province's first city-level communication center, promoting its tourism on media outlets and social media platforms and producing interesting posts that went viral among Chinese netizens.

Apart from world heritage sites, Quanzhou is also home to six world-class intangible cultural heritage projects and 36 national-level intangible cultural heritage projects. The city combines world heritage sites, intangible cultural heritage projects with tourism, organizing featured events and rolling out related tourism products, to meet diverse needs of tourists.

To cope with the surge of tourists, the city also mobilizes resources to provide more facilities for tourists, including homestay, hotels and restaurants.

Quanzhou, with its unique cultures, will further raise its coordinated development of cultural heritage protection and cultural tourism development to a new level, after its successful listing on the World Heritage List, making it a global model in cultural heritage protection, said Fu Qisheng, head of the Fujian Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage.

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