In July 1994, the Jiangsu Provincial People's Government approved the establishment of the Kunshan Tourism Resort, which was composed of the Yangcheng Lake Tourism Resort and the Dianshan Lake Tourism Resort. In August 2013, the Kunshan Municipal Government issued The Guidelines on Accelerating the Development of Kunshan Tourism Resort, which introduced a joint development model that aligned the development of the Kunshan Tourism Resort with four towns—Qiandeng, Dianshanhu, Zhouzhuang and Jinxi—as well as the Bacheng-Yangcheng Lake Tourism Resort. In March 2016, the Kunshan Tourism Resort was housed in the municipal tourism bureau and has since been operating with the same staff.
Easy access and attractive ecological environment. The resort is traversed by the the Shanghai-Changzhou Expressway and the Suzhou Outer Ring Expressway. It is only 30 kilometers away from the Shanghai Hongqiao transportation hub, one-hour drive from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, 20-minute drive from the Kunshan South Railway Station of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and 30-minute drive from the Huaqiao Station of Line 11 of the Shanghai Metro System in Kunshan.
As a typical land of "fish and rice", the zone is crisscrossed by many rivers and lakes, with the area of its water bodies amounting to 8,000 hectares and the length of shorelines totaling over 220 km. Local water quality has been maintained around the Class-III level. Throughout the year, the resort is softly blown by a southeast wind, with a mild temperature that nourishes diverse biological species and an attractive natural landscape. PM2.5 is constantly kept below 50 all year round. In the Yangtze River Delta, the resort is endowed with an exceptional natural environment.
Rich and profound culture. The resort hosts three historical towns--Zhouzhuang, Jinxi and Qiandeng, which are best known for their cultural heritage. Local people still maintain their traditional lifestyle that has lasted for thousands of years. In particular, Zhouzhuang, known in China as the most beautiful water town, pioneered a new way of preserving ancient cultural heritage more than 20 years ago—by promoting tourism to preserve and develop ancient towns.
Jinxi, hailed as Chinese capital of folk museums, was described by famous Chinese writer Shen Congwen (1902-1988) as "a sleeping girl". Its unique museum culture and tranquility are like magnets attracting throngs of Chinese and foreign tourists. Qiandeng, which has the longest flagstone street in China, is the birthplace of Gu Yanwu (1613-1682), a famous Chinese thinker living at the turn of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is also the cradle of Kunqu Opera, the origin of many other Chinese opera variations.
Unique tourist experience. The Kunshan Tourist Resort is home to one 5A tourist resort (Zhouzhuang), two 4A tourist resorts (Jinxi and Qiandeng), one 3A tourist resort (Yangcheng Lake Tourist Resort), one tourist attraction based on a national water conservancy program as well as five national industrial and agricultural tourism demonstration spots. The zone boasts nearly all cultural and natural features of the Yangtze River Delta as well as defining characteristics typical of water towns in China. Anyone, old and young, can always find a respite for their soul and discover themselves isolated from urban hustle and bustle in this tranquil retreat.
In the coming years, the Kunshan Tourism Resort will grasp opportunities from the rapid rise of leisure-oriented tourism as well as the fast growth of the tourism sector, so as to turn the whole city into a tourist destination. Moreover, it will intensify efforts to advance supply-side reforms, upgrade tourism products and strengthen its connection with the Shanghai Disney Park, with an aim to become the destination of first choice for water town-oriented tourists as well as a national tourist resort.