Stylish Qingdao sets sail to become fashion metropolis

By Hao Nan | (China Daily )| Updated : 2019-07-17

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Government ups efforts on coastal city's flair to attract tourists

The government of Qingdao is stepping up efforts to build the coastal city in East China's Shandong province into an international fashion destination with a new round of industrial developments.

The city is taking cues from Chinese and overseas fashion metropolises like New York, Milan, London, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai as references for its construction.23.jpg

Qingdao was one of the hottest summer destinations in the Far East nearly a century ago, attracting a large number of tourists from across the world with rich and exotic atmosphere.

It's home to many European-style historical buildings including the Guest House, a Christian church on Jiangsu Road and the Badaguan architectural complex.

These buildings reflect architectural styles of more than 20 countries, including Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan and Russia.

The city also boasts many "firsts" in China.

Qingdao was the first city to have automobiles, highways and a yacht club.

It produced China's first locomotive and its first bottle of mineral water.

Wang Qingxian, Party secretary of Qingdao, said the core of a fashion city is to gather, integrate and blend different cultures to become the origin of innovative ideas.

"The fashion city, which mainly focuses on new industrial models of culture, tourism, sports, conventions and exhibitions, should attract more young people to live and start businesses," Wang added.

In the future, more stylish Qingdao, youngsters from five continents of the world will be seen all year round, Wang said.

The world's most popular music, arts and dresses will be found along with worldwide cuisines and diverse academic reports. Qingdao will also host international conferences.


Qingdao plans to create several city brands in film, music, creativity, art and tourism.

The city has a long history connected to film, being one of the first cities in China to show movies, including the country's first non-silent film, Sing-song Girl Red Peony.

It is also home to the first cinema run by the Chinese and the birthplace of many famous movie stars. In November 2017, Qingdao was chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to join its Creative Cities Network as a "city of film", the ninth of its kind in the world and the first in China.

In April last year, the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, said to be the largest film-studio complex in the world, began operations. With a gross investment of 50 billion yuan ($7.28 billion), the complex has 52 state-of-the-art sound stages, including one that's underwater.

The complex also includes a film-set street lined with European and Shanghai-style architecture, a shopping mall with a theme park, several luxury hotels, a yacht club, a hospital and an international school.

Two blockbusters of this year, The Wandering Earth and Crazy Alien, were shot at the Oriental Movie Metropolis.

According to the city government, by 2020, the added value of Qingdao's cultural and creative industry will grow by an average of more than 20 percent each year, accounting for over 10 percent of the city's GDP.

It also plans to have about 500 television and film companies, more than 100 museums, and launch at least five fashion and cultural activities of national importance.

Terrific tourism

With one of the most beautiful natural bays in China, Qingdao wants to create a coastal tourism cluster. Badaguan Scenic Area, located in Shinan district, a central part of Qingdao is famed for beautiful beaches.

It is the best example of the city's picturesque scenery comprising of red roof tiles, green trees, a clear sky and blue sea.

The area, which contains a 70-hectare architectural complex featuring various international design styles, has long been a popular attraction for wedding photography and relaxing breaks.

Many heads of state and international officials have visited and lived there.

Laoshan Mountain is another must-see on visitors' itineraries in Qingdao. Besides its stunning natural beauty, the mountain is also one of the birthplaces of Taoist culture, home to Taiqing Palace, the oldest and largest Taoist temple in the region.

From 2022, Qingdao is expected to attract 140 million visitors from China and around the world, generating a total tourism revenue of more than 300 billion yuan.

Spectacular sports

The government of Qingdao will pour resources into the development of fashion sports and high-end competition events, it said.

Since it hosted sailing events during the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, the popularity of marine sports has flourished in the city.

Over the past 10 years, Qingdao has hosted the greatest number of major international sailing events in Asia, including the Volvo Ocean Race, the Extreme Sailing Series, the Sailing World Cup and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

According to the government, the sports industry's total economic output will exceed 75 billion yuan by 2022, with added value accounting for 1.85 percent of the city's GDP.

Elaborate exhibition

Qingdao will put more focus on building a famous and fashionable convention and exhibition city in Northeast Asia.

The city has already hosted a batch of influential activities in recent years, such as the International Beer Festival, Global Health Forum of the Boao Forum for Asia and the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo.

To continue its success, the city vows to annually host more than 400 exhibitions, conferences and festivals by 2022. It will also nurture 10 local exhibition and convention brands and organize 10 extra-large exhibitions, each covering an area of 100,000 square meters.