Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

Tan Weiyun
Songjiang District, with its historical legacy and modern entertainment, has become a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals alike.
Tan Weiyun
Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

The Guangfulin Cultural Relics Site

Wth its many attractions that combine old history with contemporary amusement, Songjiang District has become a must-visit destination, showcasing an impressive cultural vibrancy and tourist appeal.

Imagine stepping into the world of cinema at the Shanghai Film Park in Chedun Town, where the drama unfolds around you in an immersive theatrical experience. Or picture yourself at the Guangfulin Cultural Relics Site, marveling at a museum that seems to magically float on water. And for those seeking an escape to nature, countryside camping offers an idyllic retreat amidst green hills and clear waters. Songjiang is more than just a destination; it's a canvas on which each visit creates a fresh story.

Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

The panorama of The Yuluxe Sheshan, Shanghai, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Merging culture with tourism

In 2023, the district made a strategic move to intertwine its rich cultural heritage with its burgeoning tourism industry. This initiative has not only revitalized the district's travel sector but also significantly enriched the lives of its residents and visitors alike.

The district's commitment to merging culture and travel has resulted in a strong revival in the tourism industry. This achievement supports the growing desire for culturally integrated travel experiences. Last December, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism added Songjiang to its list of national demonstration zones for integrated growth in the cultural and tourism sectors.

This national recognition is not just a badge of honor; it's a testament to Songjiang's commitment to creating an enriching environment where culture and travel coexist harmoniously, enhancing the overall experience for every visitor.

The Shanghai Film Park, which served as the setting for the hit TV drama "Blossoms," adds to Songjiang tourism's latest attractiveness. Hong Kong-based director Wong Kar-wai's hit television series takes viewers back to the economic boom of 1990s Shanghai.

The film park reconstructed the key scene "Huanghe Road" in 1:1 size, bringing the show's realistic and evocative picture of the era to life. This attention to detail has not only captivated viewers but has also helped local tourism as fans flock to the site to check out the settings.

Last December, the "Magic Lamp Light Festival" at Shanghai Happy Valley lit up the winter sky, captivating visitors with its enchanting displays and becoming a new landmark for New Year celebrations in Shanghai.

The nearby Sheshan Hill National Tourism Resort is a treasure trove of cultural activities and natural beauty, boasting the Sheshan Observatory, autumn scenery and the Sheshan New Year's Day Climb, among many others.

Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

A bird's-eye view of Shanghai Astronomy Museum

Shaping tourism brands

Songjiang is not just riding the wave of cultural tourism; it's shaping it. With the implementation of the "Three-Year Action Plan for Humanistic Songjiang," the district is sculpting tourism through culture and vice versa. A series of seasonal celebrations have culminated in the development of a distinctive tourism brand.

"Spring Mountain Worship" features lush landscapes and ancient mountain temples, while "Summer Water Fun" highlights traditional boat races, water-themed music and dance performances.

"Autumn Root Seeking" includes visits to historical sites, storytelling sessions by local historians and cultural workshops where participants can learn traditional crafts and cooking methods.

"Winter Blessing Pray" caps off the year with a sense of gratitude and hope, featuring temple visits for prayer, meditation retreats and community gatherings where people share their hopes and dreams for the coming year.

From the vibrant colors of spring to the introspective calm of winter, each season in Songjiang brings its unique flavor, enriching the visitor's experience with a blend of natural beauty and cultural depth.

Songjiang's approach to tourism is as dynamic as it is diverse. The district has cultivated a variety of tourism products and routes that cater to a wide range of interests and preferences.

The educational and thematic tours were initiated last year with the "One River, One Creek" Research Tour. This educational journey allows visitors to delve into the history and ecology of Songjiang's waterways, offering a unique blend of learning and leisure.

Songjiang has also deepened the integration of "museum culture" with "intangible cultural heritage" and tourism. Utilizing historic house clusters in the Cangcheng and Sijing areas, the district designed immersive cultural heritage tours, allowing visitors to engage directly with the rich cultural tapestry of Songjiang.

Emphasizing the district's commitment to eco-friendly tourism, the district introduced 14 thematic cycling routes. These trails are designed around key themes like "countryside" and "ecology," providing a refreshing way to explore the district's scenic landscapes and cultural landmarks.

One notable example is the fifth Maotian Countryside Art Festival held last autumn. This festival turned the vast rice fields of Maogang Town into a canvas for artistic expression, merging the beauty of agriculture with the creativity of art. This immersive rural journey attracted nearly 30,000 visitors, achieving significant sales figures.

Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

A scene of Shanghai Film Park

Driving industrial development

By merging cultural tourism with rural landscapes, Songjiang is not only enhancing the appeal of its rural areas but also driving high-quality industrial development.

The picturesque rural towns – Xinbang, Maogang, Yexie and Shihudang, to name a few – are the jewels in the crown of Songjiang's "Maotian Countryside" rural tourism brand. These towns boast stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and a tranquil environment, making them ideal destinations for visitors seeking an authentic rural experience.

In 2023, Songjiang made significant strides in crafting unique rural tourism experiences. This included the launch of 13 meticulously curated rural tourism routes, emphasizing local culinary delights, traditional accommodations and engaging recreational activities.

To support this rural tourism boom, the district has focused on enhancing infrastructure and services. This includes guiding the development of high-quality rural accommodations like "Chengxi Hot Spring Resort" and "Yexie Light Hidden•Flower Corner," ensuring visitors enjoy comfort and quality during their stay.

Songjiang's tourism market has witnessed a remarkable resurgence, seizing opportunities to elevate the level of cultural and tourism services. This comprehensive enhancement caters not only to the physical aspects of tourism but also to the overall experience and satisfaction of visitors.

The district also partnered with 10 A-level scenic spots to offer half-priced tickets and other benefits.

This initiative has significantly increased the district's appeal as a tourist destination, in addition to several cultural activities like study tours, intangible heritage exhibitions and reading sessions.

Songjiang's effort to blend culture and tourism is paying off

Young people dressed in costumes attended an immersive theatrical program at the Shanghai Film Park.

Special Reports