Jiuzhai Valley: Bringing Together People From All Over The World
JIUZHAI VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Aba Prefecture, Sichuan, China, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Four years on and the devastating effects of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake on the local tourism industry seem to have passed. Jiuzhai Valley National Park is arguably China’s most beautiful natural site and the country’s premier national park. During the 6th International Ice Waterfall Festival and the Chinese New Year celebrations in January this year, Jiuzhai Valley saw an un-characteristic influx of visitors compared to the rest of the off-season winter months.
During January guests came from all over China and the world to experience the spectacular “Narnia-like” scenery of this magical national park on the edge of the Tibetan Himalayan Plateau. The snow dusted mountains, azure blue lakes and waterfalls frozen still like gigantic ice curtains wowed visitors from tropical southern climates and frozen tracts of the US and Europe alike.
Jiuzhai Valley received over 2.7 million tourists in 2011. This represented a full recovery and a slight increase of 2% on pre-earthquake (2007) visitor numbers. Jiuzhai Valley typically sees under three thousand visitors a week during the winter but during January’s two major events there were over 3,000 visitors on one day on 5 occasions. With China’s ever growing economy, self-drive tourists are a new market that is being attracted to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The growth of China’s middle class means that the number of car owners is increasing rapidly and this can be seen by cars transporting 3 generations of families to the park gates so everyone can get their first glimpse of the infamous “valley of nine villages” (the English meaning for “Jiuzhai Valley”): rapid economic development clearly visible to the aged grandparents and their grandchildren who get the chance to see this Chinese legend for the first time.
The local Tibetans are delighted to welcome friends from all over the world to their hometown. During the Ice Waterfall Festival in particular, Tibetans in traditional dress were as keen to have their photos taken with foreigners as foreigners to have theirs taken with the locals.
Being off season, visitors could not visit any of the Tibetan cultural shows so national park authorities arranged for inspiring performances of song and dance on a stage with a backdrop of the frozen 310m wide Pearl Shoals Waterfall.
In 2012, the number of tourists is expected to rise further and particular international interest is expected in the new eco-tourism program (http://www.jiuzhai.com/language/english/ecotourism.html) which the park’s sustainable tourism manager explains “is designed to get visitors off the beaten track and introduce them to the local flora and fauna as well as the rich Tibetan culture in the region.”
Contact Information: Kieran Fitzgerald Sustainable Tourism and Marketing Advisor E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Jiuzhai Valley National Park