Shenyang leverages bountiful history to boost future

BEIJING, May 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ —  A report from China Daily:

The illustration represents the rich and diverse tourism resources in Shenyang
The illustration represents the rich and diverse tourism resources in Shenyang

The city of Shenyang, capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, is a prime destination for domestic and international tourists who seek to explore the culture and scenery of Northeast China. In recent years, it has implemented various measures to conserve its rich historical, revolutionary, industrial and ethnic heritage, leveraging its cultural advantages to attract travelers from around the world.

Shenyang welcomed 94.13 million domestic tourist visits in 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, the city recorded 26.61 million domestic tourist arrivals with tourism revenue reaching 26.49 billion yuan ($3.82 billion), a year-on-year increase of 61.6 percent in terms of tourist arrivals and 99.09 percent in terms of revenue. In recent years, Shenyang has been placing great emphasis on integrating culture and tourism, tapping into the natural and cultural resources of the "Three Mountains, Three Rivers and Six Areas" to create unique cultural attractions. The Three Mountains refer to Ma’er Mountain, Qipan Mountain and Shengji Mountain, while the Three Rivers are the Hunhe River, Liaohe River and Puhe River. The Six Areas are comprised of Shenyang Fangcheng, Northern Marketplace, Zhongshan Road, Weigong Street, Dadong Road and Huanbeiling.

Shenyang’s goal is to boost its soft power and become a regional hub for cultural and creative industries, a domestic destination for ecological leisure tourism, a prime destination in Northeast Asia and an international city for cultural tourism.

The first investment promotion event for key cultural tourism projects in Shenyang held in Beijing on Feb 17 drew representatives from 120 key domestic enterprises. The event saw the launch of 21 investment projects, out of which 10 projects worth 12.29 billion yuan were signed.

On April 13, Shenyang hosted a cultural tourism investment promotion event in Shanghai, unveiling 100 cultural tourism scenes categorized into 10 groups, plus 33 spring travel routes and 30 year-round travel routes for visitors to explore in Shenyang.

A representative of a Shanghai travel agency commended the travel routes for being expertly designed. They feature food, culture, history and creativity, integrating the premium tourism resources in Shenyang.

In 2023, Shenyang will prioritize the development of historical culture, Red culture related to the revolutionary past of the Communist Party of China, industrial culture and ethnic culture, according to local officials. The city intends to utilize 10 major cultural venues, including the September 18 Incident History Museum and the China Industrial Museum, to lead the way in creating a series of first-class cultural landmarks.

Shenyang boasts a rich history spanning 110,000 years of human activity, 7,200 years of human tribal history, 2,300 years of city building and was once the national capital. The mention of these achievements always sparks a sense of pride among the people of Shenyang.

The Shenyang region gave birth to the early culture of the Liaohe River basin. Excavations at the Xinle site revealed human activity in the area dating back 7,000 years, which marks the first evidence of the Shenyang culture. Built in 1625 under the order of Nurhachi (1559-1626), founder of the kingdom of Great Jin which preceded the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Shenyang Palace Museum is one of the only two remaining intact imperial palace complexes in China today. The palace features a fusion of the architectural principles of the Han palace system and the political structure, customs, religious beliefs and architectural styles of the Manchu people.

In recent years, Shenyang has taken steps to protect its historical and cultural heritage. In March, Shenyang announced that it will conduct an archaeological investigation of the Hongshan Culture archaeological site along the Liaohe River. Furthermore, the city will be hosting the 9th Shenyang Intangible Cultural Heritage Expo.

On March 25, the first lecture in a series on Shenyang’s archaeology and cultural relics was launched. Professor Zhao Binfu, the dean of the School of Archaeology at Jilin University, gave a lecture on Chinese archaeology.

During the May Day holiday from April 29 to May 3, the Shenyang Museum hosted daily cultural activities under the theme of "Revealing the legacies of our hometown and uncovering the stories behind relics", providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the city’s illustrious history.

The Shenyang Museum is a modern and comprehensive museum that showcases the history and culture of the Shenyang region. According to a staff member of the museum who spoke to Shenyang Daily, the museum proved to be highly popular during the May Day holiday, with record-breaking daily visits since its opening.

Shenyang boasts abundant Red culture resources and has adopted innovative methods to upgrade its Red heritage sites, attracting more visitors to learn about the historical significance of Red culture.

To enhance the tourist experience, the September 18 Incident History Museum showcases over 30 3D-scanned artifacts, carefully selected from over 100, on a touch-screen interactive display, according to Xinhua News Agency. Visitors can use the device to explore the artifacts from both broad and intricate perspectives.

Shenyang is also home to a rich industrial culture. Many tourists have come to love the tourism destinations and creative products that evoke the city’s industrial past.

The 1905 Cultural and Creative Park was built upon the renovated workshops of Shenyang Heavy Machinery Group. Notably, the steel beams and other original parts have been preserved intact. Today, the renovated park has become a base for young people to engage in cultural and creative entrepreneurship. It features cafes, bars, restaurants and numerous cultural and creative stores that appeal to young people.

Local resident Zhang Lyuyun frequently takes part in hands-on activities in the park to create cultural and creative products with distinctive Shenyang features, China Tourism News reported.

The cultures of various ethnic groups are a crucial part of Shenyang’s cultural heritage. Over the years, people within these communities have developed a diverse range of intangible cultural treasures. Protecting, promoting and maximizing the utility of these valuable assets is a practical approach toward promoting the city’s ethnic culture and building a shared spiritual home for all ethnic groups.

According to China’s seventh census, conducted in 2020, 931,781 individuals from 55 ethnic groups other than Han were living in Shenyang, making up 10.27 percent of the city’s population.

The Manchu ethnic group was the largest, with 569,951 individuals, followed by the Mongolian with 135,265 people and the Korean with 88,676 people.

To better preserve and promote the cultural heritage of ethnic groups and boost tourism, Shenyang has taken several measures. These include organizing exhibitions and performances to showcase the cultures of these ethnic groups. Additionally, booths and interactive zones have been set up during traditional festivals and other citywide events to raise public awareness and understanding of the cultural heritage of these ethnic groups.

Shenyang’s rich historical, revolutionary, industrial and ethnic cultures are not only a source of pride for its people, but also a major draw for domestic and foreign tourists. By incorporating its natural and cultural resources to create unique cultural attractions, Shenyang has achieved notable progress in developing its tourism industry. The city’s dedication to preserving and showcasing its diverse cultures will continue to fuel its ascent as a premier destination for travelers.

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