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Agritourism forum held in Hunan

Over 100 delegates from about 50 countries joined the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) and Hunan Government Friday to discuss rural leisure tourism and coordinative development between urban and rural areas.

The 1st Summit on the World Leisure Agriculture and Rural Tourism Cities (Districts) Alliance opened in Wangcheng City, Changsha's largest tourist district, in Hunan Province.

Song Ronghua, General-Secretary of the CPDA, said:"We are here today to express our major concern over the happiness of human beings during development."

Tian Xiaoping, party secretary of Wangcheng District, said that the forum was to discuss leisure agriculture, rural tourism and the ultimate goal for the integrated development of urban and rural areas.

Lina Antanaviciene, ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to China, expressed her concern over problems stemming from sprawling urbanization. "We all know that pollution and urbanization have become serious problems all over the world."

"We all want a modern infrastructure but at the same time we need to see nature."

Long Yongtu, a former Chinese representative in negotiations for China's accession to the WTO and former General Secretary of the Boao Forum for Asia, said: "The best way to solve the problem of overcrowding during vacations in China is to change spot-tourism into non-spot tourism."

"And we need to plan carefully to improve our landscape into scenery as beautiful as exquisite paintings."

Rural leisure tourism in China has become popular in recent years as an increasing number of urban residents prefer rustic scenery in their vacations.

Wangcheng District, a 969-square-kilometer developing area in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, was established in 2011. It aims to integrate urban and rural development through leisure tourism. Featuring a number of tourist spots, including the ancient pottery handcraft and exhibition hall in Tongguan Kiln and the well-preserved ancient architecture in Qiaokou and Jinggang ancient towns, it has drawn flocks of visitors each year.