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Home » Travel News » Gorgeous Guilin Dazzles with Its Intoxicating Array of Attractions

Gorgeous Guilin Dazzles with Its Intoxicating Array of Attractions

In keeping up with the ever-changing world of tourism, successful destinations have to offer something for everybody. Tourists from all over the world come to this well-preserved city for its history, architecture, natural landscapes and other attractions. It is naturally one of the most beautiful cities in China, but it didn't get to its current Top 10 status easily.

Guilin, a city in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has been making great efforts to build itself up into being an internationally renowned tourism city for the past five years.

Having the advantage of being one of the first Chinese cities to welcome foreign tourists, Guilin has been regarded as a barometer city by United Nations World Tourism Organization to evaluate China's tourism industry. More than 180 foreign government leaders have visited the city.

With an area of 27,800 square kilometers and a population of 5.3 million people, Guilin has 11 counties and six urban districts. The city has been constantly receiving praise and awards such as "top tourism city in China" and "top 10 leisure cities in China".

Last year, Guilin welcomed 53.8 million tourists, and has now already seen a 66.34 percent year-on-year increase as a result of the number of tourists hitting 40.05 million in just the first half of this year.

The spectacular karst landscape in Guilin is part of the South China Karst property on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Lijiang River, which has a 50-km section that runs through Guilin, has been named as one of the world's top 15 most beautiful rivers by CNN.

Guilin is an outstanding example of how critical it is to maintain the balance between local economic development and environmental preservation. In addition to our duty to the environment, Guilin has also shown how rewarding it is to maintain that balance.

"Guilin is a model city in balancing economic development and environmental protection. The scenery of Guilin is amazing. I think everybody should come to Guilin at least once during their lifetime," said Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

In 2014, Guilin launched a 72-hour visa-free policy, allowing transit passengers from 51 countries who have valid visas and a flight ticket to a third country to stay in Guilin for three days. After seeing the direct success of allowing passersby to experience their magnificent city, a similar policy was launched in 2015, when the city allowed tourist groups from ASEAN economies to visit for up to six days visa-free.

Guilin's transportation network is vast and convenient, consisting of airlines, high-speed railways and well-maintained highways for cars and buses. It successfully connected Guilin with a large number of cities in China and, as a result, around the world. Guilin Liangjiang International Airport now has 93 routes, including 10 international ones. It is planning to expand into a world tourist hub with an annual handling capacity of 20 million passengers.

To establish itself as a worldclass tourist resort, Guilin cleverly tapped into the value of its local culture. Jingjiang Prince City and the neighboring old street called Dongxi Xiang, or East-West Alley, have become the latest hot attractions to tourists because of their incredibly well-preserved ancient architecture.

Aside from its natural beauty and historical destinations, the high-end hospitality industry in Guilin will also be utilized to attract luxury-seeking travelers. Guilin owns the largest five-star hotel in Guangxi. As with every great successful tourism destination, there are options for those who want a five-star lodging experience as well as those travelling with only their backpack for months on end.

After several years of effort, Guilin is now not only a hub for backpackers to enjoy the landscape and natural beauty, but also a classic destination for chasing history, experiencing folk culture and spending vacations.