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City of Changchun reveals plans to invest in sports and tourism

By Tom Walker    31 May 2019
The city, located in Jilin Province, is planning to improve its sporting infrastructure in order to build a "healthy Changchun"

Chinese city Changchun is looking to establish itself as a major tourism destination and a leader in sports and physical activity.

The city, located in Jilin Province, has a rich industrial past and has in the past prospered as a central hub for the country's automobile and railway industries.

It is now, however, looking to reinvent itself as a visitor destination by utilising its geographic location at the center of Northeast Asia.

Earlier this month Changchun City Government announced that it is making tourism a "pillar for future development".

As part of the plans, the city is looking to create a "world class" sporting infrastructure.

The local authority has elevated sports as one of its top priorities and announced plans to build a "healthy Changchun". Through improved facilities, it aims to improve the physical literacy, fitness and overall living standards of its citizens.

It has set up a dedicated agency – Changchun Sports Bureau – to lead the plans and tasked it with aligning the city's sports operations with China's wider aspiration to become a major power in global sport.

The city government has now reserved large tracts of land for sports facilities and is looking to use them as a foundation for building the city into a major events and sports tourism destination.

The government has now launched a marketing push which included the recent hosting of the Changchun Marathon, which attracted more than 30,000 marathoners from China and overseas.

"We are one of only two Chinese cities that are home to gold medalists of both Summer and Winter Olympics – so there is an existing heritage we wish to build on," said Liu Haiyu, head of Changchun Sports Bureau.

"We want to build on that and expand the sector by offering more opportunities for participation, training and tourism.

"The success of the recent marathon race also showed how sport is deeply integrated with Changchun's urban characteristics."

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