Datong enhances cultural and tourism industry in 2016-20

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2021-03-01


Datong Ancient City is surrounded by a moat. [Photo/Datong Daily]

Datong city in northern Shanxi province boosted cultural and tourism development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), creating an intense cultural atmosphere across the city.

Deeply exploring local history

With the establishment of the Yungang Institute of Shanxi Datong University and the Yungangology Institute of Shanxi University, the research and study of the Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, further developed in the past five years. 

"We've made efforts in cultural relics protection, academic research and publicity, and further explored the cultural importance of the Yungang Grottoes, safeguarding the site's cultural heritage," said the relevant person in charge of the Yungangology Institute of Shanxi University.

After five years of work, the restoration project at the Yungang Grottoes has entered a more advanced and detailed stage. The site's digitalization has become a crucial way of guaranteeing the grottoes' protection for future generations.

Datong Museum, another vital platform to promote Datong's history and culture, is committed to passing down and promoting traditional culture and enhancing the pride and awareness of Datong culture.

The museum is preparing to construct two new branch museums: one focused on ethnic integration and another on ancient government bureau systems. These two new facilities will join Datong Museum's main site and nine branch museums to form a museum group that integrates the history and culture of Datong and presents it to visitors in a multi-dimensional manner, said Wen Hui, director of the museum's publicity and education department.

Spreading Datong's stories

According to Datong's bureau of culture and tourism, original written works featuring profound ideas, exquisite art pieces and thrilling productions based on rich local cultural resources have been released in the city over the past five years. As a result, more people are paying attention to the city.

Through dramas, stage plays and operas, Datong's culture and spirit have been spread widely.

After twice holding the Jackie Chan International Action Film Week in Datong, the city has begun exploring the local development of the film and television industry. Local authorities have supported strong and capable enterprises and institutions to invest in and produce films and TV drama series featuring the city's historical stories and figures, folk culture and local customs. 

Datong has attracted well-known domestic directors to shoot movies and TV drama series in the city and encouraged locals to use mobile phones to create small videos promoting the unique cultural resources of Datong to expand the city's popularity.

Furthering cultural and tourism integration

Datong has been creating a national-level demonstration zone for all-for-one tourism and deepening cultural and tourism integration over the past five years.

All-for-one tourism refers to a regional coordinated development model that takes tourism as a dominant industry in certain areas and uses the sector to drive and promote the whole region's joint socio-economic development.

According to Datong's bureau of culture and tourism, Datong began to implement the ancient city restoration project in 2019 to promote the historical city's revival.

In 2020, a total of 21 ancient city restoration and protection projects were promoted. The Protection and Development Center of Datong Ancient City signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Xi'an Qujiang Cultural Tourism Co last September to develop featured tourism projects with existing tourism resources in the city.

The city built popular tourist destinations featuring ancient city culture sites, such as Yunlu and Xianlou streets. It showed Datong Ancient City's cultural highlights through various events such as the temple fairs during the Spring Festival, exhibitions of folk customs and Datong Ancient City photography competitions.

Meanwhile, it made efforts to create a coordinated tourism development system led by Datong Ancient City, Yungang Grottoes and Hengshan Mountain, integrating sightseeing, rural tourism, folk custom experiences, ice and snow sports, entertainment and hot springs.

Developing cultural industry

In the past five years, Datong explored new development models such as "culture + technology," "culture + tourism," "culture + finance," "culture + agriculture" and "culture + industry" to create a cultural industry cluster with Datong characteristics.

Datong's rural cultural tourism routes now cover 10 counties and districts, and there are 56 featured cultural tourism villages in the city.

The city built several cultural-industrial demonstrative towns, artistic blocks and cultural villages with distinctive cultural features and prominent leading industries.

Key cultural enterprises, cultural-industrial parks, cultural products and various cultural activities also developed rapidly. Events such as the China · Datong Lantern Festival, Jackie Chan International Action Film Week, Datong Sculpture Biennale and Northern Wei Culture Forum have formed a cultural clustering effect, enhancing the cultural influence of the city.

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