Industrial tourism warms up in Changsha
In the historical city of Changsha, tourists have started flooding to the most unlikely of places, its industrial parks.
As the weather warms up and spring gets well under way, the thousands of cherry trees that have been planted throughout the city's industrial areas begin to bloom, and this year the visitors just can't keep away.
At the Hunan Goodnight Home Furnishings industrial park in Yuele district, more than 2,000 cherry trees have come into full bloom and up to 12 batches of tourists arrive each day to take photos among the pretty flowers.
"These areas are known for thriving business not thriving flora," joked one visitor.
The planting of the cherry trees, which began in September 2013, has transformed Changsha's industrial areas and has given rise to a new form of "industrial tourism". So far, 18 industrial tourism spots have opened to the public, including BYD Auto, Coca Cola and Hunan Goodnight Home Furnishings Industry.
The industrial base of Hunan Goodnight has more than 40 varieties of flowers and trees in an area of 200 mu (13 hectares), creating a natural oxygen bar in the city.
Over the past three years, more and more factories and manufacturing areas have been landscaped and given a more natural visage, such as Broad Group and Shanghai Volkswagen Changsha.
Planting trees and flowers for sightseeing obviously cannot bring direct economic benefits for enterprises, but very few would argue that having a more beautiful place of business would be bad for business.
The concept of "Building factories under big trees", integrates green ecology and open access and has become a new trend of modern industry, observed Changsha Evening News.
Such openness and greenery can enhance a brand's credibility and cultivate brand loyalty.