The small city was until now barely noticed by visitors. But this might change as Fuli town located in Fuchuan Yao autonomous county in the Province of Guangxi, was recently certified by Cittaslow as the first “international slow city” in Guangxi and the fourth in China.
Cittaslow movement was born in 1999 thanks to the former Mayor of Greve, a little town of Tuscany. The idea is to reward a city which makes efforts to develop in a different way by promoting overall the quality of life and the well-being of local communities. The movement is inspired by the Slow Food movement and its philosophy of life enjoyment. Cities part of Cittaslow are all about taking time in the city”s life, respecting the cycle of seasons, of the health of its inhabitants, the authenticity and freshness of products as well as good food, untouched landscapes, lively culture and places to meet within the city.
In July last year, Cittaslow sent a delegation to Fuchuan to do field inspection and evaluation. The Agriculture Core Demonstration Plot in Fuli town was considered to meet the standard of an “international slow city”.
Before that, Fuchuan had been vigorously promoting tourism by developing rural home inns and making the best of unique local resources. It also facilitated rural-tourism spots by developing eco-new villages and planned to construct a visitor center to hasten designation as an “international slow city”.
According to Chen Hua, secretary of Fuchuan County Party committee, the country has been promoting tourism with an inn and a mountainous resort with an investment of over 2.7 million USD.
Moreover, Fuchuan brought in an ecological agriculture sightseeing tourism project around domestic and foreign plants and flowers. Many parks have been developed such as Shenxian Lake Agricultural Sightseeing Park, the Rose Lake Water Park and a rare fruits picking garden. The first phase of the project of an all-year-round sea of flowers opened to the public last year. The whole project is planned to complete this year. To date, the area has received nearly 300,000 tourists, earning income of 123 million yuan. Fuli is not only the fourth Cittaslow city in China. It is so far the only recognised rewarded destination by the movement in the Great Mekong Sub-region.