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                Open Governance
                Part of Jiuzhaigou to Reopen to Visitors on September 27

                  Part of the Jiuzhaigou National Park in southwest China's Sichuan Province will reopen to visitors, over two years after it was hit by a powerful earthquake. Exciting news came from the Aba Prefecture Cultural Tourism and Whole-Region Tourism Development Conference held on September 23: With the approval of Sichuan provincial government, part of the park is scheduled to reopen to visitors on a trial basis on September 27 when the World Tourism Day is commemorated. This is the second time for the scenic spot to reopen to tourists since it was briefly opened in 2018.

                  On August 8, 2017, a sudden magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Jiuzhaigou, the renowned "fairyland on earth, and fairy tale world". After two-year rebuilding, what scenery will the park present to visitors? Reporters found that this time the park is to open more areas than last year, involving more scenic spots and more beautiful and diversified scenery.

                  85% scenic spots will open to visitors as the scenery in the park is even more beautiful after rebuilding

                  It is early autumn and the weather is sunny and cool. Bright sunlight falls on the mountains, sprinkles into the valley, and shines on the transparent quiet lakes. Nearby, the waters mirrors light and dark blue color, reflecting the forests where tree leaves have diversified colors; in the distance, the lake surface is as smooth as a mirror, reflecting the blue sky and white clouds—Jiuzhaigou, after rebuilding, presents breathtaking scenic beauty.

                  After two years of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, 85% of the park is basically ready to receive tourists. Compared with the short-term reopening of part of the park in March last year, the area to be opened this time is larger, with the addition of Five Flower Lake, Pearl Beach, Rizegou Gully and other scenic spots, and the new scenic spot Shuanglonghai Waterfall will also make its grand "debut".

                  Shuanglonghai Waterfall, 85m wide and 8m high, was originally hidden deep in the forest. After the earthquake, with the change of hydrological environment, its water flow gradually increased, forming a spectacular and beautiful waterfall.

                  Nuorilang Waterfall is also ready to embrace tourists again. During the earthquake, the rock layer of the waterfall collapsed partially, with a crack 16.8m long and 50cm wide at its top. The once "widest waterfall in China" was reduced to only a torrent of water, which was heartbreaking to see. Now, after rebuilding, the flow of water at Nuorilang Waterfall is even greater.

                  It's not easy to rebuild the park. In November 2017, Sichuan provincial government issued the Master Plan for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction of '8·8' Jiuzhaigou Earthquake and put forward five key tasks, with ecological environment restoration and protection being the top priority. The concept of "ecological protection and green development" also runs through the whole process of the park's recovery and reconstruction.

                  For example, the recovery of Nuorilang Waterfall is "the synergy of nature and manpower". Xiao Weiyang, senior engineer of Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area Administration, reveals that the crack is repaired by manpower, but the materials used are all natural, adding that, "After many studies, we decided to use local materials--calcified compound that collapsed during the earthquake to fill the crack, so that the water would not flow along the crack and the waterfall would have water."

                  Taking post-disaster reconstruction as an opportunity to upgrade the tourism industry is the top priority of post-disaster reconstruction.

                  According to estimates, tourists to Jiuzhaigou stayed in the county for less than two days on average before the earthquake, compared with 2.42 days in Lijiang (a scenic spot in Yunnan Province) and 2.5 days in Zhangjiajie (a scenic spot in Hunan Province). Therefore, the park used to face a development restriction as the experience during the visit here was not deep enough.

                  In accordance with the requirements of "expanding the scenery and capacity, creating diversified attractions", the CPC Jiuzhaigou County Committee, and Jiuzhaigou Government have taken the following measures: on the one hand, while the park is being rebuilt, new scenic spots and new types of operation such as Zhongcha Ravine Folk Culture Experience Area, Shenxianchi Forest Health Care Area, Jiawuchi Giant Panda Park, etc. are built to form a whole-region tourism development landscape; On the other hand, cultural tourism products are vigorously developed, and the effective connection between scenic spots and the urban system is accelerated, enabling the park to turn from a tourist destination for scenery viewing into a world-class leisure resort destination.

                  Ecological protection is as important as tourist experience enhancement

                  On September 23, the scenic area was not officially opened yet, but quite a few green sightseeing vehicles in Zhangzha Town were already put in operation. Jiang Zhibin, deputy manager of the Operation Department of Dajiulv Jiuzhaigou Travel Branch, told reporters that the company has prepared more than 200 green sightseeing vehicles and is conducting debugging and inspection to get fully ready for the coming tourist reception.

                  In fact, during the closure period, the park has been busy, not only busy in post-earthquake restoration, but also in upgrading the existing facilities.

                  At present, the first and second phases of the ecological plank roads in the scenic area have been restored. The plank road from the entrance of Jiuzhaigou to Changhai is 38 kilometers long, and the plank road from Nuorilang Waterfall to Five Flower Lake is about 7 kilometers long. "These red birch trees that have 'broken through' the plank road are integrated with the plank road, forming a new ecological landscape!" said staff in the scenic area, adding that when the plank road was laid, there was room reserved for each tree to grow.

                  In an effort to enhance tourists' experience comfort, the park has built a "smart tourism big data integrated management platform" using new generation information technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. The platform integrates business application systems including ecological environment monitoring, forest fire prevention, and geological disasters in the scenic area, aiming to comprehensively improve the park's intelligent management and service level.

                  With the application of the smart platform, the service facilities in the park have been significantly improved. For instance, the 23 eco-friendly toilets from the entrance of Jiuzhaigou to Changhai are designed with humanized ingenuity: Digital intelligent management system is applied to these public toilets. Tourists can scan the QR code to log in the mini programs and check the distribution of all public toilets on the scenic spot map, and keep abreast of toilet availability. The toilet cubicle will be timed automatically after it is closed. Once someone stays in the cubicle for too long, it is highly likely that the person inside may encounter various problems such as physical discomfort, and the staff will receive reminders so they can deal with the case in a timely manner.

                  Currently, the follow-up finishing work of the roads, plank roads, rest pavilions, eco-friendly toilets, and other projects in the park's planned open area has been basically completed, and the Nuorilang Comprehensive Service Center is able to serve 3,000 people's dining at the same time. Meanwhile, the detailed investigation and risk assessment report of hidden hazards of geological disasters in scenic area and the safety hazard assessment report on potential geological hazards have been completed, and the upgrading of real-name online ticketing system and six gate check-in systems have also been completed.
                  "We will provide advance group booking service for our hotel's guests, so that their travel to Jiuzhaigou will be more easy and convenient," noted Peng Gang, staff of Sanroyal International Hotel. The hotel has already been open to visitors in advance. Peng also said that the hotel is ready to receive tourists, and will use its Sanroyal International Travel Service platform to organize group tourists, and even provide tourist group service for the hotel's guests from different regions.

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