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Culture and Tourism Industry Boosted by the Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Expo
updated on:2020-09-12 07:48

On the afternoon of September 6, the Press Conference on the Achievements of the 2nd Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Expo was held, which revealed that the Expo had greatly fueled the development of the culture and tourism industry by stimulating consumptions in catering, accommodation, transport, travel, shopping and entertainment, covering the entire industrial chain in the cultural and tourism sector. Incomplete statistics showed that over 100,000 persons-times had visited the Expo on the spot and the online viewers had exceeded 200 million in cumulative terms.

     As COVID-19 response has become the daily routine and cross-provincial group trips have resumed, this Expo has been a professional culture and tourism exhibition with the largest scale held in Jiangsu ever since. Wuxi, the main venue of the Expo, has staged a Canal City Culture and Tourism Exhibition that contains the rich cultural and tourism resources not only in the 13 cities with districts in Jiangsu, but also over 30 provinces and cities along the Grand Canal including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Anhui and Zhejiang. 163 performances and 59 promotion meetings were held on site. The Canal Cultural Creativity Exhibition, themed as “Empowering Culture and Tourism, Stimulating Creativity”, displayed over 3,000 cultural and creative products pivoting on tourism, intangible cultural heritage or cultural industry from nearly 200 participating companies that come from canal cities. As of 11:00 on Sept 6, sales turnover on cultural and creative products had exceeded RMB 1.7 million. The Canal Food Culture Exhibition, themed as “Sharing the Delicacies and Beautiful Life along the Grand Canal”, has attracted 173 companies from the 13 cities with districts in Jiangsu and 7 provinces (cities) along the Grand Canal to treat the eye and palate of the visitors. Sales turnover exceeded RMB 2 million during the exhibition.       

Aiming to create cultural and tourism brands with significant influence both at home and abroad, the Expo focused on exploring and showcasing cultural and tourism resources and has staged an integrated show comprising art creation, boutique cultural and tourism products, creative products of intangible cultural heritage, stage performance, gastronomy, and night trip economy. For the first time in history, a set of mascots was created for the Canal Expo out of the prototype of Wuxi clay figurine “A Fu” and “A Xi” implying the advent of good luck and happiness, taking part in the interactions with the audience and stoking the merry atmosphere at the Expo. These mascots, with long-term value for sustainable development and application, have become a cultural creativity IP with strong local characteristics that not only lit up the Expo on site, but caught the eye of the official agency for Milan Design Week in Italy as well. On the second day after the opening of the Expo, the creativity team received invitations from Milan Design Week as well as a number of Italian paper media and major media in the industry for “Cheng Yun Er Lai” IP and its derivative designs to participate in the VR exhibition of Milan Design Week and its off-line exhibition next year.

Academically speaking, two major theme fora, Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Cooperation and Canal City Culture and Tourism Consumption, were held with over 300 representatives, experts and scholars in the cultural and tourism sector from canal cities both home and abroad. Pivoting on deep integration of culture and tourism, discussions were conducted over consumption upgrading, roadshows for culture and tourism programs were carried out, and 2020 Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Development Bulletin and 2019 White Paper of Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Consumption and 2020 Projection Report were released to public, blazing a trial for the high-quality development of the integration of culture and tourism.

In addition, the Expo has adopted a “online + offline” dual model by setting a cap for visitors on the spot and 24/7 online streaming to adapt to the “cloud economy” development and meet the requirements for COVID-19 routine response. 5G, AR, VR and other technologies are applied to make new ways for the exhibition and enrich the experience of interactions with the visitors. Jiangsu Smart Culture and Tourism Platform—“Su Xin You” and other e-tour platforms are playing the major role in online promotion and consumption. 24/7 online streaming of the actual scene of the Expo is made available via the cloud technology, and culture and tourism products are advertised by internet influencers. In this way, a professional Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Expo never comes to an end. 

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