This photo taken on May 24th, 2014 shows the unveiling ceremony of UNESCO/Zhongkun Group Training Platform for World Heritage Conservation and Sustainable Tourism. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
A new training session has been launched this week in a village in Anhui to help better conserve cultural heritage, while at the same time, maintaining a solid tourism sector.
CRI's Liu Min has more.
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A World Cultural Heritage Protection Training Platform has been launched in Hong Village in Anhui, which is considered a renowned World Cultural Heritage Site here in China.
Hong Village was enshrined as a world heritage site in 2002 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.
This week's training platform is a chance for both Chinese and foreign students, along with world heritage site managers from around the world, to communicate and recieve training in how to better protect heritage sites.
China currently ranks 2nd in the world when it comes to cultural heritage sites, behind only Italy, with 45 World Heritage sites on UNESCO's list.
There are 981 world cultural heritage sites around the world.
China is also the world's most popular destination for tourists.
Domestic tourist sites saw a total of 3.3 billion visitors last year.
Peter Debrine with UNESCO says Hong Village is a prime example of how cultural heritage can be protected while still sustaining a solid tourist base.
"China is quite interesting, 'cause the same model has been very successful in the U.S.. and it can be applied to China. And I think with Hong Village, we've sort of seen the very similar example with Zhong Kun group and how they work in the world heritage site. UNESCO is definitely to use the model here to help other sites."
Normally here in China, the government is in-charge of cultural heritage protection and tourism sites.
However, in Hong Village, Beijing-based investment group Zhongkun stepped in to help restore buildings in the community.
The company also hired professionals to help teach the villagers how to become more active in managing and dealing with tourists, which has helped stimulate profits for the locals in Hong Village.
"The income of the villagers has increased by ten-fold. The highest incomes in the village are now coming in at 300 to 400-thousand yuan per year per household. Young people from the village who would have normally migrated to the big cities to find work are now staying in the village to do business."
Using the revenues from tourists, both the locals and the Zhongkun Group are re-investing to help protect the sites.
Zhongkun Investment Group President Huang Nubo.
"This place has been conserved well. No matter who joins the management with the locals in the years to come, Hong Village should still be here at least 100 years from now. No one is going to tear down an old building with short-sighted purpose. At the same time, the training platform launched by our company and UNESCO will give students and volunteers from around the world a chance to exchange ideas about how to better conserve heritage and develop tourism in a sustainable way."
For CRI, I'm Liu Min.1 2 3 4 5