Tongren mayor sees prosperous future for city

SHANGHAI, March 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from

Tourists visit Fanjing Mountain in Tongren, Guizhou province, on July 23. Fanjing Mountain was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. [Photo by Hu Panxue/For China Daily]
Tourists visit Fanjing Mountain in Tongren, Guizhou province, on July 23. Fanjing Mountain was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. [Photo by Hu Panxue/For China Daily]

Tongren in Guizhou province, known as the “City of Matcha”, plans to organize more international forums related to its famous Fanjing Mountain and sports events, and diversify its matcha products to attract overseas tourists, Mayor Mu Rongkun said.

“We will explore our potential in ecological resources, especially making good use of the fame of Fanjing Mountain to host international forums and events on ecology and biodiversity, to enhance international visibility,” Mu said.

More sporting events like the Fanjing Mountain Marathon and road cycling races are expected to develop into international events, he said, adding that the marathon will be run on Sunday.

Fanjing Mountain, part of the Wuling Mountain range, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018 and is home to a conservation area, a nature reserve and a number of Buddhist temples. It has been considered a sacred site for centuries.

Based on the rich natural and cultural resources, the tourism sector has grown into a pillar industry in the city.

Tourist visits last year were up 9 percent on the figure in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, with tourism spending up 14 percent.

“Overseas tourists are mainly from Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, and Hong Kong and Macao residents are also a major source,” Mu said.

“We will accelerate the official opening of Tongren Fenghuang Airport as an aviation port, and increase international flights to explore overseas markets.”

The airport was granted temporary permission to operate as an aviation port in November 2017, and started direct flights to Bangkok, Thailand, in August 2018, and flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, in Vietnam, in 2019.

Tongren also plans to cooperate with major domestic tourism agencies and online celebrities from markets such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to promote the city’s major attractions and expand its exposure, Mu said, adding it will improve tourism services and provide better guides for foreign tourists.

The city has also initiated measures to provide specialty products to lure foreign guests and contribute to Guizhou’s ambition to become a world-class tourist destination, he said.

Netizens have dubbed Tongren the global super factory for matcha, with products such as matcha powder having been sold to over 40 foreign countries and regions. Sales last year exceeded 1,000 metric tons, Mu said.

He said the city can produce 4,000 tons of fine matcha powder a year, ranking top in China and second in the world in terms of output.

Matcha is made from fresh and tender tea leaves that have been cut and dried. With its unique flavor and medicinal properties, matcha and its derivatives have been widely applied in food and cosmetics.

“We will upgrade the production of biological tea gardens for matcha, especially those in the core region around Fanjing Mountain, making the city a major primary raw material base for matcha in China,” Mu said.

“In addition, we will extend the industrial chain to provide diversified products from matcha, such as in drinks, chocolates, noodles and facial masks,” he said, adding the city will also increase the industry’s added value.

According to a white paper released by the China Center for Information Industry Development a year ago, China has become the world’s largest producer of matcha and the largest consumer of matcha products.

It suggested that the matcha industry in China will continue to expand. By 2027, global matcha production is forecast to reach 12,000 tons, with China and Japan expected to remain the primary regions driving growth.


View original content to download multimedia: Read More