Cultural tourism is expanding rapidly in cities all over the world. Trends in cultural consumption and experiential technology are driving demand. This demand is shaping the nature of both established and fast growing cities. City leaders and cultural institutions need to be aware of multiple critical factors to ensure the success of individual attractions as well as the long-term sustainability of the city economy.

Anren is a historic town in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The Jianchuan Museum Cluster, established in 2003, the largest non-state museum project in China. it is a vast complex covering an area of over 80 acres, housing 28 individual museums and a rich collection of over 8 million artefacts, including 404 items recognised as Class-One National Cultural Relics. The exhibits are presented under four major themes: War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937 – 1945), ‘Red Age’ (Cultural Revolution 1966 – 1976), 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, and Folklore and Culture, corresponding to the project’s motto ‘to collect wars for peace, lessons for future, disasters for safety and folklore for cultural continuity’.

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A 2-day study tour and expert panel was organized by BOP Consulting, under the Belt and Road – World Cities Cultural Tourism Forum, with the objective of explore the Anren Cultural Town and Museum cluster, inviting a number of international experts in the field of culture, tourism and branding to experience the city and share their experience with Chinese city officials. The Study Tour, that took place during the Anren Biennale, was a unique opportunity to experience the town during a significant festival and as such formed part of the programme.