Gulangyu island welcomes 340,000 visitors during National Day holiday
A total of 340,000 travelers visited Gulangyu island in east China's Fujian Province during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays, after it entered the UNESCO World Heritage list in July.
On October 1, the first day of the eight-day holiday, Gulangyu welcomed about 46,000 visitors. From October 2 to 5, nearly 50,000 people visited the island every day on average, according to figures released by Xiamen Ferry Company.
To better protect the heritage of the island, famous for its varied architecture and multicultural history, local authorities restricted the number of visitors to 50,000 a day during the holiday.
Controlling the number of visitors can help enhance tourists' sightseeing experience as well as reduce the impact on heritage preservation, said Gulangyu authorities.
In July, the World Heritage Committee added China's Gulangyu historic international settlement to the prestigious World Heritage List as a cultural site.
Only a six-minute ferry ride from Xiamen, Fujian's dynamic economic and cultural hub, Gulangyu has an area of about two square kilometers and is home to 20,000 residents.
A former international settlement, the island features 13 consulates, churches, hospitals, schools, and police stations built by foreign communities from the middle to late 19th century.
In the early 20th century, the island attracted overseas Chinese elites, who returned and built private residences on the island, often with a mixture of eastern and western architectural styles.
Gulangyu has more than 2,000 intact historical buildings, making it one of the best-preserved international settlements in China.
The island receives more than 10 million visitors per year.