Opening City Embracing the World

Authors: Go Chengdu

2017-09-14

Vigorously adapting to the Belt and Road Initiative, Chengdu is now poised to open more widely up to the outside world and expand international partnership, attracting an ever increasing number of international visitors.
To date, Chengdu has launched regular non-stop air services to most UNWTO member countries, including those to Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Melbourne, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka.
Three months ago, the second direct air link between Chengdu and Russia's Irkutsk was open, increasing the city's international/regional routes to 102. For the time being, the city's air network has covered most important cities in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania and Asia. It tops central and western China in terms of the numbers of international/regional routes and destinations.
Chengdu is always a pioneer in the country in continuously building and upgrading its traffic infrastructure, and expanding its transportation networks and systems.
In the city's downtown and popular attractions, throngs of foreign visitors are seen strolling through the hustling and bustling streets and alleys, doing some shopping, and tasting local food and snacks. They enjoy themselves experiencing local culture and customs, and native Chengdu lifestyle.
In the past few years, many foreign heads of state and dignitaries, including Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and former US Vice President Joe Biden, visited Chengdu during their trips in China. They pay a close attention to the rapidly changing city in China's western regions. "Western China is growing fast. Chengdu plays a vital role in China's future development. In the city, you can see China's bright future in economic and social development," said former British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Opening more widely up to the outside world is an irresistible trend of developing the travel industry. In 2013, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart was held in Chengdu, bringing together top buyers and international travel agencies from 61 countries and regions throughout the globe. Two years later, The New York Times titled the city one of the "52 places to go" on the globe. In July 2015, the city became one of the top 10 tourist destinations in China according to the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.
In January 2016, Chengdu took the lead in Sichuan Province to offer tax refunds on purchases made by overseas visitors. Up to now, there have been 74 stores across the city offering the service.
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