Culture and tourism industry
A cradle of Chinese culture, Shanxi boasts a long history, abundant heritage and beautiful scenery.
The province belongs to the Loess Plateau, with its boundaries forming the shape of a parallelogram. Shanxi has various kinds of landforms, including mountainous regions, hills, tableland, basins and plains. Mountainous regions and hills make up around 80 percent of the entire province.
Most of the province is located at 1,500 meters above sea level. The Yetou Peak of Mount Wutai is located at an altitude of 3,058 meters and is the highest in North China.
There are several mountain ranges and rivers in Shanxi, including the Taihang Mountains, Lyuliang Mountains and the Yellow River.
Shanxi is also home to 452 sites containing cultural relics under State-level protection, and to more than 28,000 ancient architectural sites –– more than any other province in China. Wooden structures built before the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in Shanxi account for over 75 percent of the total in China.
There are three relics listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely Yungang Grottoes in Datong, the Ancient City of Pingyao in Jinzhong and Mount Wutai in Xinzhou.
In 2017, Shanxi welcomed 670,000 overnight visitors from abroad and 560 million domestic tourists, a year-on-year increase of 6.4 percent and 26.5 respectively. Foreign exchange income from tourism reached $350 million, an increase of 10.3 percent year on year. Domestic tourism revenues were 533.86 billion yuan ($77.19 billion), representing year-on-year growth of 26.3 percent.
To further develop the province's tourism economy, Shanxi will utilize its history and culture, follow national tourism policies, and improve relevant local policies.
With a focus on building a tourism brand based on well-known tourist attractions, including the three world heritage sites, Shanxi plans to construct a series of tourism complexes with leisure, vacation, sports, healthcare and entertainment facilities. It also plans to promote religious sites, Shanxi merchant culture, the Taihang Mountains, and Yellow River.