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Integration of Culture and Tourism: Dongtou Goes Poetic
Date:2021-12-19 07:59:06 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

Boundless Swimming Pool in Jin’ao Village

Rendering of Asian Mother-of-pearl Inlay Art Museum.

Recently, the entrance of Yanzi Mountain Park in Bei’ao Sub-district, Dongtou District is bustling with workers engaged in orderly construction. They just topped off the main building of a new Asian Mother-of-pearl Inlay Art Museum, and is fixing it up at the moment. Here, a private mother-of-pearl museum with the most and richest collections and on the largest scale in China and even Asia is going to rise, which will become another golden card of cultural tourism for Dongtou.

Against the background of building an “international tourism island”, various programs have blossomed in Dongtou in recent years, such as rural characteristic tour, red culture tour, leisure tour around the island, and island “starlight economy” etc. To further promote the transformation of functions, innovation of products and agglomeration of elements of scenic spots, Dongtou has been actively revitalizing its local cultural IPs since this year. It launched the construction of the East China Sea Mother-of-pearl Inlay Art Theme Park, accelerated the construction of transformation projects by industry integration, such as the Strait Cloud Village and Tongxin Town (literally, One Heart Town), and promoted the integration of culture, tourism and research and the development of rural tourism. A new style of holistic cultural tourism is gradually taking shape in Dongtou.

Mother-of-pearl inlay is a traditional folk craft in which skillful craftsmen process shells into handicrafts through cumbersome processes such as cutting, grinding, polishing, stacking and pasting to demonstrate unique luster and texture of the shell. Dongtou’s mother-of-pearl inlay started in the 1940s and gradually developed on the basis of shell piling craft. In 2007, it was included in the intangible cultural heritage list of Zhejiang Province .

The East China Sea Mother-of-pearl Inlay Art Museum, as planned by its curator Chen Canyuan and his team, aims to activate the intangible cultural heritage of mother-of-pearl inlay to bring about multiplier effect. With a land area of 2,823.69 m2, it sets up an Exhibition Education and Service Zone, a Collection Storage Zone, an Administrative and Technical Research Zone, a Master Workshop and a Research Institute. Among them, the Exhibition Zone will be divided into the “Asian Mother-of-pearl Inlay Exhibition” and the “Belt and Road Mother-of-pearl Inlay Exhibition”, focusing on inlay art collections from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar and countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

“The new Mother-of-pearl Inlay Art Museum not only displays mother-of-pearl inlay cultural products and history, but allows visitors to deepen their affection for and sense of involvement in the intangible cultural heritage via ‘exhibition, production, research and education’”, said Curator Chen Canyuan. The new museum will have a fully upgraded study and learning experience zone, where visitors can get in touch with shellfish farming, learn to handle shells such as abalone shells, and make their own shell carving souvenirs by cutting, grinding, polishing, stacking and pasting under the guidance of teachers.

Jin’ao Village, located at the mountain top in the middle of Banping Island, has recently gained a bit of cultural and creative flavor. Walking on the country road in the village, one will feel like wandering in a world of art. Many retro stone houses are being renovated in full swing, and there is a boundless swimming pool, a One Tree Park, cute animal models, to name a few. Focused on promoting “tourism + countryside”, Dongtou is making every effort to optimize the layout of rural homestays across the district. A group of key homestay villages with natural endowments and service support are selected for preferential development. Among them, the project of Strait Cloud Village is distributed in the 4 natural villages of Shanwei, Aochun, Luwan and Jin’ao, with a total land area of about 140,000m2. 29 buildings will be reformed to implant the sea and island culture, contributing to Dongtou’s endeavor of creating an island homestay highland.

“What we want to build is a fashionable rural tourist destination,” said Xiang Yan, relevant person in charge of Flower Field & Flower Land Hotel Management Co Ltd, “here, tourists not only experience homestay consumption with food, lodging and travel, but also pursue culture, individuality, and the enjoyment of shopping.” Currently, the company is working on the renovation of the homestay, and, on the basis of digging deeper into the island countryside culture and integrating resources, is planning to introduce more partners, such as whisky bars and other fashionable gathering places, and regularly carry out jewellery shows and other trendy activities to enhance the quality and consumption of the homestay villages.

From the Strait Cloud Village at the mountain top all the way down the mountain, Tongxin Town that connects the mountain and the sea, and the two sides of the Taiwan Strait stand in the middle of the vast sea with rippling waves. Now, it is accelerating its pace of construction. Centered on Blue Bay renovation, cross-strait unity, common prosperity and island culture and creativity, the Tongxin Town Parlour is presenting a new vision of Dongtou’s development. Meanwhile, Bailu Bay Sea Fishery Cultural Tourism Resort at the southern end of Banping Island, which aims at a national 4A-level tourist attraction, links the three night tour projects of Sea Lantern Pond, Sea Spirit Pond and Beating Wooden Drums Pond. The Fishermen’s Cultural Street, the 100 characteristic shops and the eight net-famous tourist destinations are laid out one by one, providing visitors with an immersive experience of the fishing culture of the island fishing town.

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