Macau fair opens up a world of heritage

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The Independent Online

The 2nd World Heritage Travel Expo opens in Macau on Thursday with organizers hoping to accentuate the positive effects having a destination "heritage listed'' can have both on the future of the site itself -- and on the local economy.

(Relaxnews) -

The 2nd World Heritage Travel Expo opens in Macau on Thursday with organizers hoping to accentuate the positive effects having a destination "heritage listed'' can have both on the future of the site itself - and on the local economy.

The event will run November 12-14 at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel and will gather together more than 300 representatives from World Heritage listed destinations and attractions.

It is being co-organized by the government-run Chinese Culture Promotion Society Intangible Cultural Office and this year's theme is "Conservation, Development, Promotion and Communication.''

There are currently 890 sites heritage listed by UNESCO - 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 "mixed."

China now has 39 of those, including 28 cultural heritage sites, seven natural heritage sites and four cultural and natural heritage sites. And the Chinese government has been actually encouraging local municipalities to submit their attractions to UNESCO.

The latest Chinese site to be listed was Mt Wutai ("Five Terrace Mountain''], situated in Wutai County, Xinzhou City, in the northern Shanxi Province, which was added in July.

Mt Wutai consists of five peaks that range in height from 2,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level and it also boasts 68 Buddhist temples, 150 towers and 146,000 sculptures.

It was also also last week announced that a 3,000-year old Chinese road would be seeking heritage listing from UNESCO - the 270-kilometer Shudao Road, or the Road of Shu Kingdom, which stretches through the southern Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces.

It takes in the "architecture, literature and folk cultures of west China," according to Zhang Xuemin, professor of China Heritage City Research Center, Tongji University.

And Zhang was quick to highlight to Chinese media just what impact being listed by UNESCO might have on the road, its surrounds, and its people.

She said the listing would "encourage the exploration and protection of the Shudao Road,'' while boosting tourism and promoting "reconstruction and economic development.''

Organizers of the 2nd World Heritage Travel Expo have organized a series of forums designed to help show local tourism operators how to promote heritage sites internationally - and to "create more investment opportunities, keep the balance between conservation and development of World Heritage.''

With an eye on the marketing side to tourism, this year's event is being run concurrently with the 2nd International Leisure Travel, Tourism Commodities & Gift Trade Fair.


2nd World Heritage Travel Expo

November 12-14

The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel

Website: http://worldheritagetravelexpo.com

MS

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