Zhengzhou promotes kung fu tourism

IN KEEPING with its formidable reputation as the home of warrior monks, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, is promoting kung fu tourism to attract martial art enthusiasts.

According to Zhengzhou Tourism Bureau’s vice general manager, Liu Xiao Fei, martial arts movies like The Shaolin Temple in 1982, which featured Jet Li, and the more recent 2011 film Shaolin, which starred Chinese stars like Andy Lau and action hero Jackie Chan, have sparked off international interest in kung fu tourism.

Liu said: “Although many international tourists still may not have even heard of Henan province, there is definitely more recognition with those movies. It is the hometown of Chinese kung fu and Shaolin has become a household name.

“Shaolin Temple is one of China’s most famous temples, and I know that learning kung fu there can be considered one of the top things to do in China because of its originality,” he added.

Tourists were welcomed to watch the students perform their daily kung fu show at the centre during CITM. Those keen to learn more about Chinese martial arts can opt for immersion programmes – which can last from a day to a year – that include meals and lodging.

Apart from the Shaolin Temple, Zhengzhou also boasts other scenic attractions including the Bodhidharma Cave and Pagoda Forest, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

While domestic travellers currently comprise 80 per cent of arrivals to the province, Zhengzhou Tourism Bureau is training its sights on international tourists by participating in more trade shows.

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