Written by Li Min and Gu Yuexuan / Translated by Chen Zhiying
Since the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations three decades ago, cooperation between both sides in culture and tourism has become increasingly close. Among all provinces, municipalities and regions in China, Guangxi is connected with ASEAN by mountains and rivers, serving as the forefront and window of China’s opening-up and cooperation facing ASEAN. It has profound conditions, foundation, advantages, and most importantly, achievements in culture and tourism cooperation with ASEAN countries.
Guangxi provides a platform for China-ASEAN to carry out cooperation in culture and tourism
To promote the high-quality development of culture and tourism between China and ASEAN, Guangxi has established a series of platforms and mechanisms. For example, the Fangchenggang Border Tourism Pilot Zone effectively promotes bilateral cooperation in culture and tourism. In addition, the China-ASEAN Expo Cultural Exhibition and Tourism Exhibition, Chine-ASEAN Cultural Forum and supporting activities, and Bama Forum — China-ASEAN International Forum on Traditional Medicine and Health Tourism have become regular events to stimulate the innovation vitality of China-ASEAN cooperation in culture and tourism.
Fangchenggang Border Tourism Pilot Zone, located on the bank of Beibu Gulf, is connected with ASEAN by sea, land and river, boasting unique tourism resources. Guangxi will expand its influence as a platform in China-ASEAN culture and tourism cooperation through completing five major tasks in Fangchenggang Border Tourism Pilot Zone, namely facilitating customs clearance, exploring the path to achieve all-in-one tourism, implementing industry-oriented mechanism, promoting tourism transformation and carrying out border tourism. The Zone, after three years of development, has achieved fruitful results. 60.5 of the 64 forecasted tasks under the five major reforms have been completed, with a completion rate of 95%.
The CAEXPO is an international economic and trade exchange event at the nation level held annually in Nanning, China. The Cultural Exhibition, Tourism Exhibition and China-ASEAN Cultural Forum are held under the CAEXPO and show their charms thoroughly.
On July 23, 2021, the 16th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum was held in Nanning, China, with the focus on high-quality development of cultural industry and international cooperation, and building a bridge connecting the people. At the Forum, participants reached a consensus that the Cultural Forum have provided many valuable opportunities for promoting the connectivity and inclusive cooperation of China-ASEAN cultural industries, which was of great significance.
Looking back, we noticed that the dialogue session of China-ASEAN Cultural Forum has expanded from cultural industry to culture and art, intangible cultural heritage protection, public cultural services, etc., and the topics discussed have changed from “Cultural Industry — New Driving Force for China-ASEAN Economic Development” to “Protection, Inheritance and Tourism Development of Cultural Heritage”. The cultural exhibitions and performances under the Forum have also become more and more abundant, with more diversified forms. The China-ASEAN Cultural Forum has gradually developed into a provincial and ministerial professional forum with great influence in China and ASEAN.
Nowadays, the cultural exchanges and cooperation between Guangxi and ASEAN have expanded from traditional art performances to many fields. For example, in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, Guangxi has established Guangxi Tourism Consulting and Promotion Center, and jointly built Hanoi Chinese Cultural Center with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China in Vietnam to publicize Chinese culture and promote China-ASEAN exchanges and cooperation in culture and tourism.
With the implementation of the project, Guangxi has made achievements in China-ASEAN culture and tourism cooperation
In order to promote the high-quality development of culture and tourism industry, Guangxi focuses on the construction of “three resorts, two belts and one center”, namely Guilin International Tourist Resort, Beibu Gulf International Coastal Tourist Resort, Bama International Longevity and Health Tourist Resort, China-Vietnam Border Tourism Belt, Xijiang River Ecotourism Belt and Nanning International Tourism Center City. Relying on the advantages in coast, border, etc., the development of culture and tourism industry in Guangxi features opening-up towords ASEAN cooperation.
Among them, Guilin International Tourist Resort focuses on upgrading high-quality scenic spots, tourism services and tourism brands, boosting the inbound tourism market, and embarking on a path of quality improving and upgrading of its own; Beibu Gulf International Coastal Tourist Resort focuses on strengthening exchanges and cooperation in culture and tourism with countries along the Pan Beibu Gulf, developing cross-border cruise tour, and building a subtropical coastal resort and maritime sports and leisure resort of international level; Bama International Longevity and Health Tourist Resort will accelerate the construction of transportation and improve its service, and build itself into an international longevity and health destination with international popularity and influence; China-Vietnam Border Tourism Belt will promote border cities such as Dongxing and Pingxiang to develop a new business form integrating tourism and trade with the participation of their people.
Before the pandemic, Guangxi had achieved full coverage of routes to 10 ASEAN countries, and Nanning opened an international direct bus line from Dongxing Port to Halong Bay and Haiphong in Vietnam; Combined with international events such as cross-border self driving tour, marathon and cycling between China and Vietnam, Guangxi has cultivated 9 high-quality tourist routes, such as Guilin-Fangchenggang (Dongxing)-Mongcai and Halong, and Nanning-Pingxiang-LangsonHanoi; the construction of China-Vietnam Detian (Ban Gioc) Waterfall Cross-Border Tourism Cooperation Zone has made positive progress; Bama Forum has been held regularly and has promoted practical cooperation in healthcare industry. In addition, Guangxi has promoted the construction of “three resorts, two belts and one center” by introducing a series of inbound and outbound tourism policy benefits, such as visa free entry of ASEAN tour groups to Guangxi and tax refund for overseas tourists who come to Guangxi.
Guangxi’s contribution to China-ASEAN cooperation in culture and tourism under the pandemic
The pandemic has brought great impact to the tourism industry of countries around the world. In the post-pandemic era, what measures will Guangxi take to promote the recovery of China-ASEAN culture and tourism industry? How will Guangxi boost culture and tourism cooperation?
Under the pandemic, the pace of digital economy and industrial integration has accelerated. The culture and tourism industry must also follow the new trend. In the future, Guangxi will make full use of digital technology to improve the service of intelligent culture and tourism. It will accelerate the construction of the network platform of “Click to visit Guangxi”, and build and improve the platform of Splendid Guangxi · Culture and Tourism Cloud, so as to provide a complete, convenient and personalized tourism experience for tourists from China and ASEAN. Under the regular pandemic prevention and control, Guangxi has changed the form of activities from offline to a combination of online and offline events. For example, the 16th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum was held both online and offline. In terms of investment attraction, Guangxi has also set up column of “Guangxi Culture and Tourism Project Investment Promotion” and developed an app for big health and culture and tourism industry called “Splendid Guangxi · Welcoming Enterprises to Guangxi” to attract investment online to promote the culture and tourism industry.
Taking tourism as the carrier and culture as the core, Guangxi, as a window of cultural exchange with ASEAN, has integrated culture and tourism, transformed the culture and tourism resources into practical development advantages, and written a new chapter of Guangxi’s open cooperation in culture and tourism with ASEAN.