Geothermal hot springs as driver for tourism in China

Geothermal hot springs as driver for tourism in China Xiamen, Fujian, China (source: flickr/ Toine Rooijmans, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Mar 2014

China's cities with geothermal hot springs thrive to become China's Hot Springs Capital to drive tourism, but should also look into the opportunities geothermal offers for district heating in those regions.

Geothermal energy has not played a huge role in China, but this seems to change. While geothermal power is not necessarily the great option for the country, direct use applications such as for spas and heating projects seem to receive increasing attention.

Cities with geothermal hot springs install geothermal bath facilities and are becoming more and more proud of it. So it is not surprising that efforts to become “China’s Hot Springs Capital” is an important element in branding cities to attract visitors.

In 2010, Fuzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing were the first batch of cities named as “China’s Hot Springs Capital”. Now Xiamen, a city with abundant hot spring resources, has vowed to build itself into another hot springs capital for China in Fujian province.

Now Xiamen is preparing itself to become a Hot Springs Capital. The city “has great potential in the hot spring tourism sector as it has an abundance of geothermal resources. As of now, a total of 14 hot spring sites have been discovered in the city, including 2 on Xiamen Island, 7 in Tong’an District, 3 in Xiang’an District, 1 in Haicang District and 1 in Jimei District.

Starting last year, Xiamen has been striving to build its high-end hot spring resorts integrating the functions of leisure, recreation and physiotherapy by upgrading its major popular hot spring resorts including Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort and Trithorn Hot Spring Resort.”

While the focus seems to be mostly on tourism and a drive to grow it, geothermal heating for the inhabitants might also be an option going forward, particularly as the spa tourism is seasonal with peaks and lows throughout the year.

Geothermal district heating is increasing slowly but surely in China, with Sinopec Green Energy, a Chinese-Icelandic joint venture operating and continuously developing additional geothermal district heating systems in the country.

Source: Whats on Xiamen