Yesterday at the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Industry Development Conference in Chuxiong it was announced that 11 mainland and Hong Kong companies will invest more than 90 billion yuan (US$13.1 billion) in Yunnan's tourism industry.
The group of eleven is led by HK-listed Shui On Land (瑞安房地产), best known for being developers of the Xintiandi and Corporate Avenue project in Shanghai. Total investment by Shui On Land in Yunnan this year is expected to reach 48 billion, more than the other 10 companies combined.
In December 2007, Shui On signed a cooperation agreement with the provincial government – today it is working on four major projects in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Diqing.
Smart Hero Group (骏豪集团), another Hong Kong developer, will invest more than 25 billion yuan in the city of Chengjiang, 70 kilometers southeast of Kunming. The project, located at the Sun Mountain International Ecological Tourism and Leisure Holdiday Area, will commence construction in September. Smart Hero has existing tourism and hospitality projects in the cities of Xiamen, Sanya and Chongqing.
Smart Hero's investment in Chengjiang is indicative of a larger trend in Yunnan – in addition to established tourist cities such as Kunming, Lijiang, Dali and Shangri-la, smaller cities and lesser-known areas in Yunnan are beginning to attract larger amounts of investment. Other examples include Pu'er and Yangzonghai.