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Lijiang discourages businesses irrelevant to traditional culture

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 ECNS


Traditional residential buildings in Lijiang, Yunnan Province. (File photo/Chinanews.com)

The old town of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, has banned open-flame BBQs, singing and dancing halls, as well as Internet bars amid new efforts to protect its cultural identity.

Authorities introduced a list of business activities allowed in the old town, discouraging bars, restaurants, jewelry or cosmetics.

It plans to support projects relevant to its history and the Dongba culture of the Naxi ethnic group including traditional papermaking, costumes and other crafts.

The old town is a hot tourist attraction in China, but visitors also complain about problems such as forced purchasing and unlicensed businesses.

Early this year, National Tourism Administration warned the town to improve tourism management within six months otherwise its 5A status would be downgraded. Local authorities have since launched a campaign to better protect the over 800-year-old site.

 


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Experts with the World Tourism Organization (WTO) have said that Yunnan Province is poised to become one of Asia's most sought-after travel destinations as well in the next 20 years.

Home to 25 ethnic groups, Yunnan is mysterious and appealing to European and American tourists who are amazed at the ethnic culture and various customs here.