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​Coastal city integrates tourism to generate more income

By ZHANG DANDAN |  China Daily |  Updated:2020-11-09

Located just off the coast of the city of Yantai in East China's Shandong province, a giant oil-rig-like structure looms out of the ocean. It's Genghai No 1-China's very first ecological marine ranch platform.

Genghai No 1 was built by Yantai's own CIMC Raffles Shipyard and has a total investment of 67 million yuan ($10.13 million).

Essentially, a large-scale fish farm, Genghai No 1 makes use of artificial intelligence, 5G and big data to perform fish breeding, marine biology and research. The platform even has two wind turbines to generate its own energy.

But most interestingly, the platform, which was put into operation in July, is being integrated with tourism.

Visitors can take a ferry from the mainland to the platform where they can see how the fish farm operates, learn about the technologies being deployed to boost efficiency, and carry out research, and even have a bite to eat at the platform's own floating cafe.

A second phase of the Genghai No 1 project is underway and is expected to complete by the end of 2021. A six-story complex is being built with accommodation, shopping and entertainment facilities as well a 8,000-square-meter leisure deck.

The platform ties into Yantai's strategy of integrating the development of its industries, and especially integrating tourism, to take advantage of the city's wealth in coastline and lush natural landscapes.

This city is notable for its picturesque coastal scenery, boasting 26,000 square kilometers of sea area, a coastline stretching 1,038 km, 230 offshore islands and seven natural bays.

Another example of this is in Yantai's flourishing wine industry.

Yantai is located at 37 degrees north in latitude that is believed to have the optimal natural conditions to produce wine, which the city has been doing for over 100 years. The city's wine region is China's largest and produces 40 percent of the country's wine.

Such a name has Yantai earned for itself with regards to its wine production, people visit the city every year specifically for wine tours.

Changyu Group, founded in 1892, is one of China's largest and oldest wine producer. The company's "wine town" is the size of 800 football fields and can produce 25,000 bottles of wine per hour.

Established in 1992, the Changyu Wine Culture Museum in Yantai is China's first wine museum, and receives 300,000 visitors from home and abroad each year.

The museum is well-known for its 100-year-old underground wine cellar, which was set up in 1905, has a depth of seven meters and covers an area of 1,976 sq m.

Chateau Changyu Castel, built in 2002 in the Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone, is one of the first specialized wineries in China to fully integrate tourism.

With its European-style castle architecture and recreational activities such as sightseeing, grape picking and catering, the chateau has become a sought-after tourist destination.

It also has a wine culture experience center which allows visitors to learn all about the winemaking process. The visitors are even allowed to have a go at the winemaking process themselves and create their own customized barrel of wine.

In 2019, Yantai received more than 86 million visits from both home and abroad, and achieved a total tourism income exceeding 120 billion yuan, accounting for 15.8 percent of the city's GDP and 30.9 percent of the added value of the service industry, according to local government.

During the recent National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday from Oct 1 to 8, Yantai had 6.55 million visits to the attractions in city, generating revenue of 7.6 billion yuan.

Genghai No 1, off the coast of Yantai, is a large-scale fish farm that makes use of artificial intelligence, 5G and big data to achieve fish breeding, marine biology and research. [Photo/China Daily]


A visitor poses for a photo at the Changyu Wine Culture Museum in Yantai, which is China's first wine museum. [Photo/China Daily]

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