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G20, Welcome to Hangzhou

(People's Daily Online)  Yu Meng  2016-09-22 10:36

 The Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center, where the G20 Summit will take place, in the beautiful Binjiang district of Hangzhou. (Picture: Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)

MARCO Polo, the Italian traveler of the 13th century, lauded Hangzhou as “the world’s most magnificent and noble city”.

For its abundance of scenic attractions like the West Lake, the Xixi Wetland, the Grand Canal and the Qiantang River, Hangzhou is among the most coveted tourist destinations in the world. It was shortlisted by New York Times in 2011 as one of the “41 Places to Go”. Both the West Lake and the Grand Canal are now Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Renowned as one of China’s seven ancient capitals, historic Hangzhou’s proudly among the first group of cities that the central government designated as a historic and cultural city. Also known as the fabled city in the south-east, Hangzhou shares with Suzhou the ultimate fame of Paradise on Earth. For the last decade, the city tops the national chart of “China’s Happiest Cities”.

It has also won the “Best Human Habitat” award from the UN.

Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang Province on China’s south-eastern coast. As the province’s economic, cultural, technological and educational centre, the city also plays a central role in the Yangtze River Delta, which lies at the heart of the region traditionally called Jiangnan (literally, “south of the Yangtze River”).

For years, Hangzhou has been recognised by the World Bank as having China’s best investment environments. Forbes Magazine has also consecutively placed Hangzhou on its chart of “Mainland China’s Best Cities for Commerce”. It’s otherwise recognised as the capital of e-commerce, among the Top Ten Innovative Cities of China, the Top Ten Vibrant Cities of China, the Top Ten Low-carbon Cities in China, the Most Accomplished City in People’s Well-being Improvement, and the Best Image Friendly City.

The Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest online B2B business, and Geely, the Chinese automaker which owns Volvo, are both headquartered in Hangzhou.

“Hangzhou has been regarded throughout China as a national cultural and leisure capital, renowned for its rich legacy and pristine natural beauty,” said Li Hong, director-general, Hangzhou Tourism Commission (HTC).

“With hosting G20 and the 2022 Asian Games, the city is poised to take its place on the world stage. The HTC has implemented several tech-focused programmes to aid visitors in navigating Hangzhou.”

Launched in January last year by the HTC in partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba, the Hangzhou Tourism Passport facilitates reservations and payment via a QR code at hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions across the city.

(The story was originally published on Business Report on September 2nd, 2016.)