Tourism - JHCGA and China Partnerships
Tourism is a mutual interest which participants from Wyoming and Shanxi have recognized in the course of numerous exchanges organized by the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs. The two states/provinces are blessed with natural and cultural resources which draw tourists from all over the world. In Wyoming, with its public lands and parks, tourism is the second largest industry, behind energy. In Shanxi, millennium-old Buddhist and other cultural and historical sites located throughout the province each year attract millions of pilgrims and tourists from China and elsewhere.
As with their common interests in energy issues, participants in the tourism discussions decided from the outset to share experience and know-how and to promote mutual interests in this area. They did so out of the recognition that the two partners have something to offer each other. Wyoming’s natural resources can inspire the people of Shanxi to improved stewardship of their own natural and cultural resources. Shanxi’s history as the 5,000 year-old “cradle of Chinese civilization” reminds of what a brief chapter in human history is comprised by the history and settlement of Wyoming.
Interest in tourism began with a recreational field trip to see the Jinci Temple in Taiyuan at the close of the U.S. China Clean Energy Initiative meeting in Shanxi in 2004. As interest grew, discussions led to the tourism delegations to Jackson in 2006 and 2011 and to Shanxi in 2007. The delegations were organized by JHCGA and the Shanxi Provincial Tourism Administration. Memoranda of Understanding, a joint tourism website, and other measures promoting cooperation between government officials and leaders in the hospitality industries in Shanxi and Wyoming have evolved over the years and have brought people from the U.S. and China together in partnership and friendship.