Handicrafts boost cultural tourism industry in Tai'an
Based on its prosperous and rich culture, history and tourism resources, Tai'an has been bolstering efforts in recent years to promote its brand "Handmade in Shandong · Gifts from Tai'an" to boost culture and tourism industries and has achieved fruitful results.
Tai'an has won nearly 300 awards in national competitions, domestic regional competitions and previous tourism commodity competitions in Shandong province, and among which, more than 40 awards were gold prizes. It has also received a series of honorary titles such as "China's Top 10 Tourism Commodities" and "China's Top 100 Tourism Commodities", which present a promising future for culture and tourism industries.
To date, Tai'an's culture and tourism production system has included all categories, including Taishan tea, Taishan jade, Feicheng peach wood carving and intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items like Taishan paper-cutting.
For example, Taishan Tea Valley in Daiyue district has developed itself into an ecological agricultural resort complex integrating the breeding of rare tea tree varieties, research and development of tea-making technology, and promoting tea culture since its establishment in 2012.
Over the past years of development, the company acquired one Shandong provincial-level ICH item title for its Taishan tea making technique and two municipal level ICH items.
In 2021, on behalf of Shandong Tea, Taishan Tea Valley participated twice in the tea tasting activities for ambassadors in China, which were organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has become a name card of Taishan tea and tea from the northern areas in China.
Feicheng, a county-level city in Tai'an, is renowned for its peach wood culture and peach wood carvings. As a result, Feicheng has been boosting the integrated development of its peach culture with the cultural tourism industry and has worked out its own development path with unique characteristics.
To date, Feicheng is home to over 160 companies involved in making peach wood tourism products and has over 40,000 employees working in over 4,000 categories in 30 series.
In Feicheng, the annual sales revenue of peach wood exceeds 2 billion yuan ($29.08 million), accounting for more than 80 percent of the national peach market. With its peach wood products sold abroad to countries and regions like Japan and South Korea, Feicheng has turned into the national peach wood tourism commodity research and development, production, sales distribution center.
Two workers work on a tea-making production line in Taishan Tea Valley in Daiyue district, Tai'an. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A dragon peach wood carving [Photo by Wang Qian/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]