“Tourism is becoming a new driver for the economy in a change of gears,” said Wang Fumin, deputy director of the province’s tourism bureau. “It creates consumption, spurs investment and could also be billed as a service export.”
Both visitor numbers and tourism revenues have seen an average of 30-percent annual growth over the past four years in Gansu. More visitors are expected this year, with growth during the first half already hitting 25 percent.
The boom in tourism is mainly fueled by two things. The first is China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to build stronger economic and cultural links with countries situated along the ancient Silk Road via both land and sea, which is raising more awareness among travelers of Gansu’s Silk Road legacy.