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Feng Kui: Tourism function should not be exaggerated in characteristic towns

Updated:April 26,2020 L M S

Feng Kui

Research Fellow and Secretary-General of Academic Committee of the China Center for Urban Development of the National Development and Reform Commission

——Tourism function should not be exaggerated in characteristic towns 


Based on our understanding of the Zhejiang model of characteristic towns, a characteristic town doesn't refer to an administrative town or an industrial cluster. It is actually an innovative space with highly concentrated elements of innovation for cultivating highly-efficient and distinct industries.

A prominent phenomenon is that real estate and tourism enterprises are striving to develop characteristic towns. The engagement of real estate and tourism enterprises demonstrates their close connection with such projects, but it also means the current development of characteristic towns is only in its initial stage.

Real estate plays an essential role in shaping the spatial form of characteristic towns, but if the proportion of estate income accounts for a high proportion of their comprehensive income, such towns might become nothing more than real estate projects.

Tourism could be a function of a characteristic town. Some characteristic towns take tourism as their leading industry and main function. But for most characteristic towns, tourism is one of the auxiliary functions, or exists as a basic function. With the development of all-for-one tourism, an area that only focuses on tourism cannot be built into a characteristic town.

Real estate and tourism may help lay a foundation for the construction of characteristic towns, but characteristic towns must feature their own unique value, industries, and products. As specific and unique industries are now standing out to replace real estate and tourism as the most prominent features, it is time for characteristic towns to enter into a new and higher stage of development.