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Shanxi seeks tourists from South Africa

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-05-11

Shanxi held a tourism promotion event in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 9, hoping to attract visitors to the North China province.

South Africa is the latest country to be targeted by Shanxi in a bid to grow its international tourism industry, with 60 tour companies from South Africa attending the event. Previous overseas tours have included Russia in 2016 and Singapore in 2013.

Overseas tourism has been growing in recent years thanks to popular landmarks such as Mount Wutai and the ancient city of Pingyao. In 2016, Shanxi welcomed 900,000 international visitors.

At the event, guests were shown a promotional video of Shanxi’s popular tourist destinations, as well as its natural beauty, traditions, religion, and culture.

"Shanxi has a history of 5,000 years – it was home to the first dynasty in Chinese history – the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century-16th century BC) – it is a major birthplace of Chinese civilization," said Zhang Fuming, vice-governor of Shanxi.

The directors of Shanxi Provincial Tourism Development Committee also detailed the many international events which appeal to overseas visitors, such as the Pingyao International Photography Festival and International Cultural Tourism Month at Mount Wutai.

As part of Shanxi’s "going out" strategy for its tourism industry, the province has started offering more services for overseas visitors and opening up travel routes by inviting tour groups and signing deals with international tour organizers.

Shanxi and South Africa already cooperate and exchange in many areas of business, so it only makes sense to open up the tourism market. In September 2015, a business match making meeting between the two sides was held in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi.

Currently, 35 percent of all visitors to South Africa stay in Gauteng province, where Johannesburg is located – the vast majority of them are Chinese tourists, according to an official of Gauteng’s tourism bureau.

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