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2017 China Forest Tourism Festival

Sep 18, 2017

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s Information Office held a press conference on August 25 on the 2017 China Forest Tourism Festival. Following are the highlights:

 

Liu Dongsheng, deputy director, National Forest Bureau

Huang Rong, deputy secretary-general, Shanghai Municipal Government

Lu Yuexing, director, Shanghai Forest Bureau

Yang Chao, director, Forest Tourism Management Office, National Forest Bureau

STV: The timing of the Forest Tourism Festival is near the National Day holidays; are there any suitable activities you would like to reveal to residents so that they can prepare their trip in advance?

Lu Yuexing: The 2017 China Forest Tourism Festival will be held in Shanghai, which provides an opportunity for the city to serve the national tourism industry. And it also provides a guide for Shanghai residents to make trips to forests and enjoy nature. During the festival, we will hold promotions on forest travel products, routes, key destinations, activities and cooperation projects. Some travel agencies will be invited and we welcome media to report on the festival.

Director Liu and director Yang have made introductions about the forest travel routes in China. The most distinctive ones include the ice and snow route of northeast China, including the Arctic Village National Forest Park, China Snowtown World, and the Northeastern Asia Ski Resort in Shenyang. Another is a route in northwest China, including the Huang Antan National Desert Park in Minqin, Gansu Province; and the Shabianzi National Desert Park in Yanchi of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The Forest Tourism Festival in Shanghai mainly introduces five travel routes. One is ecological travel to Chongming Island, including Xisha Wetland (Mingzhu Lake), Dongping National Forest Park, Dongtan Wetland and Qianwei Village on Changxing Island. Visitors can enjoy the wonderful natural sceneries on Chongming and watch birds. Second is the themed route to the source of the Huangpu River, including Sheshan National Forest Park, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Moon Lake Sculpture Park and Oriental Oasis. Visitors can see the ecological construction in Shanghai’s suburbs along the Huangpu River. Third is the Binjiang area in Shanghai, including the Shanghai Binjiang Forest Park, the Paotaiwan Wetland and Forest Park in Wusong, the Shanghai Hanwan Forest Park and the Shanghai Wild Animal Zoo, which shows the picturesque views along the Binjiang. The fourth is the themed-travel forest route in Shanghai, including Gucun Park, Huaxiang area along the Outer Ring Road and the Shanghai Wood Culture Museum. The fifth is the country parks, including those in Qingpu, Pujiang, Jinshan and Changxing Island. Each country park has its own unique characteristics.

From September 25 to 27, local residents can go to the World Expo Exhibition Hall to get more information. The forest travel destinations under the National Forestry Bureau will also provide a large number of tickets to Shanghai residents free of charge, including Badaling in Beijing, Dabieshan in Hubei, Longhu Mountain and Sanqing Mountain in Jiangxi. The tickets have a face value of 2 million yuan. And we hope local residents can benefit from these visits. Thank you.

The Economic Observer: I have two questions, first: how to strengthen environment protection while developing forest travel? How to reduce the impact on the ecosphere brought on by the large number of visitors? Are you going to make up the loss to forest resources caused by construction? And second: before planning the scenic spots or travel routes, what evaluations and approvals have you done?

Liu Dongsheng: Thank you for drawing attention to environment protection. During the development of forest travel resources, including direct and indirect development, there are some impacts.

How to develop forest travel and at the same time protect forest resources is indeed a big issue. It has connections with policy, law, management, ideology, level of understanding and quality of the nation. From the management point of view, we have divisions of area for forest travel. In general the core areas are out of bounds except under special circumstances. And it has been included in related law and policy.

During the development of forest travel, some facilities will be set up, and we have related laws and policies to define the activities. We have been firmly opposed to the large-scale destruction of forests in order to construct forest travel facilities. At the same time we encourage builders to use existing open spaces to set up travel facilities. We support the construction of facilities on the outskirts of forests to avoid cutting trees and occupying land resources of locals. And we oppose construction of high-rise buildings of armored concrete in forests.

In addition, we encourage the harmonious integration of facilities with the environment, for example forest log cabins and motor homes. They can not only bring convenience to visitors but also help in the construction of facilities beneficial to the protection of resources. Of course we will strengthen education to raise the legal concept of visitors, raise their awareness on environment protection. During the travel activities, we will make conscious efforts to protect forest resources and wild animals to avoid and ease the adverse impact and bad influence on the environment.

Of course, there are a series of management measures, through which we will ensure economic benefits of a good environment. In northeast China, we hope the icy sceneries will lure visitors to travel, enjoy leisure and holidays there, which in turn can bring financial income for operators, while at the same time spreading ecological and civilized ideology. Thus the protection of forest resources and utilization can be integrated dynamically. Thank you.

Yang Chao: Just now Director Dongsheng said we believe that developing forest travel while protecting them well is the best practice and best way to make the best of forest travel. It is an important problem for us to study so as to serve the forest area as well as the masses.

When introducing forest travel routes, destinations and scenic areas to the public, we have very strict procedures. So far more than 9,000 destinations for forest travel, including forest parks, wetland parks, desert parks, botanical gardens, zoos and ecological gardens, have been opened to the public.

Take forest parks for example; we have a very strict standard for choosing destinations, covering the evaluation of scenic resources and basic conditions. This is also true for the setting up of wetland parks.

First of all, we have a very strict procedure in selecting the destinations; second, we have strict planning and approval procedures; third, there are strict management procedures and necessary regulations and laws, e.g. the Wetland Park Management Regulation and the Forest Park Management Regulation. All the destinations recommended in Shanghai this time are equipped with service facilities and necessary tourism infrastructure.

So all the recommendations have gone through strict approval, and under the precondition of protecting the environment and forest resources, moderate development and construction have been allowed to provide service for the public, covering leisure, sightseeing, travel, sports and fitness. We hope our media friends will go to the destinations and give us your valuable opinion. Thank you.

Xinmin Evening News: A country park has characteristics of both forests and wetlands, which makes it a part of forest tourism. Can you tell us about the city’s planning on country park construction?

Lu Yuexing: Country parks are an important component of the city’s ecological construction. Currently, four country parks are open to the public. Three parks are under construction and two will open this year. This year’s Forest Tourism Festival will offer us an opportunity to publicize and demonstrate the beauty of country parks.

At first we had planned to have 21 country parks but then we made some adjustments. These parks cover a total area of 600 square kilometers; seven have opened or will open soon.

The first country park which opened to the public was Jinshan Langxia Country Park with a planned area of 21.4 square kilometers. The park features farm culture and combines modern agricultural technologies, science education, cultural experiences and leisure tourism. The park has received 561,800 visitors since its opening in October 2015.

Qingxi Country Park, covering a planned area of 22.4 square kilometers, is a wetland country park featuring Dalianhu Lake Wetland and a well-preserved water network. Rich water resources of the park, including lakes, shoals, marshes and islands, remind visitors of a rural water town. The park started a trial run last October.

Changxing Island Country Park, located in the north of Changxing Island, is an ecological park built on the basis of quality ecological resources, including the cedar forest. It was opened to the public last October.

Pujiang Country Park, located on the east side of the Huangpu River, has been on a trial run since late July and boasts a planned area of 15.29 square kilometers. During the construction of the park, existing farmland was retained while its ecological system was restored and some basic facilities were set up. The park offers visitors an opportunity to breathe fresh air and enjoy the serenity of the forest.

Besides, Jiabei Country Park, Gungfulin Country Park and South Songjiang Country Park will also be open to the public soon.

Jiefang Daily: Do you have any data on tourist numbers and output value of Shanghai forest tourism? And I have another question for Director Yang Chao, why is the forest tourism held in Shanghai, a city with limited forest land?

Lu Yuexing: The city’s forest tourism is still in its incumbency. Next, we will work for its industrialization in accordance with relevant requirements of national tourism. Professional indicator statistics will be applied to the development of forest tourism.

Yang Chao: The first and second editions of the Forest Festival were held in Wuhan and Changbai Mountain. We have two concerns on choosing Shanghai this time.

Firstly, Shanghai has a large population with 24 million consumers and also a tourism market with great potential. We hope residents of Shanghai will spend more time in forest tourism destinations.

Secondly, Shanghai is a city with high marketization level, thanks to the country’s reform and opening-up policy, which offers good conditions. The festival will be supported by big enterprises and government institutes and operated by a mature market.

ICS: Shanghai is an international metropolis with many foreigners settling down here. How can you better publicize the Forest Tourism Festival for foreigners? What exciting events do you plan to attract them?

Yang Chao: As a forestry department, we usually work in mountains and forest areas and lack experience in holding activities in big cities like Shanghai.

Forest tourism offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate natural sceneries, taste fresh green food and breathe fresh air in the natural oxygen bar of forests. The cross-forest trip, star gazing and sports activities are sure to attract foreign visitors.

Our country has rich natural resources for climbing and cross-country sports. For example, the Pu’er National Forest Park in Yunnan Province and the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park organize many forest adventure activities to draw foreign visitors.

Thank you for reminding us. We will boost publicity of the festival in the English language and improve relevant aspects of the festival to meet demands of foreigners.

Huang Rong: Shanghai is an area with high level of urbanization. We should value the opportunity to show foreigners not only our economic development but also our rich ecological resources.

Secondly, we can draw our citizens to less popular scenic spots to fully make use of tourism resources and ease the traffic burden in and around famous scenic areas.

We hope that our citizens will help promote the development of forest tourism in other places so that these regions can enrich their forest resources with funds from tourism revenue. We also hope to offer a platform for Shanghai enterprises to seek cooperation with exhibitors from other places and offer more tourism products for our citizens.