Suzhou presents its best dishes to lure tourists
Suzhou has made food one of its biggest attractions for this year's Double Five Shopping Festival, which was initiated in Shanghai and spread over the Yangtze River Delta region.
"We are enlightened by the story of Zibo, and it is obvious that Suzhou can offer great food for people coming from afar," said Sun Jianjiang, chief of the Suzhou Bureau of Commerce.
He made this speech at the opening ceremony of Suzhou Food Festival on Friday night, which will run through June, among a series of events to spur consumption.
Zibo, a small city in the coastal province of Shandong, has gained sudden popularity among tourists for its iconic barbecues. It represents a successful story for marketing in the Internet era.
To unleash its potential, Suzhou, in neighboring Jiangsu Province, will host about 300 promotions, offered by its famed restaurants, with discounts of up to 24 million yuan (US$3.45 million) in total, during the festival.
At the site of the opening ceremony, it also presented 1,000 free bowls of Sanxia noodle (noodle featured shrimps that are fat with seeds, meat and brain and is only available in spring) on the Internet as an invitation for people to have a taste of Suzhou food.
"We are quite confident about our food, which pays special respect toward tradition while always using the freshest ingredients," Sun said.
A network for collaboration within the Yangtze River Delta region was also established to share resources and manage concerted success.
Suzhou unveiled a list of recommended food for each of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese traditional calendar.