Tai An, rich in cultural heritage, is renowned for cultural tourism with the magnificent Mount Tai Shan as its main attraction. It is listed by the State Council as the first city to open to foreign tourists in 1982.
Lying in the central Shandong province, Tai An covers an area of 7762 square kilometres and has a population of 546.6 million at the end of year 2008, a growth of 4.2% as compared to last year. Out of the population, 258.2 million people are from Tai Shan district, Dai Yue district, Xin Tai City, Fei Cheng City, Ning Yang County and Tung Ping County.
From an old urban city, reforms were made by the government and the national economy of Tai An has seen rapid development. Social institutions develop and flourish, and standard of living improves. In year 2002, a GDP of 515.2 billion was seen, a growth of 13.9% as compared to last year’s.
Major industries in Tai An are coal mining, steel and equipment manufacturing and fine chemicals. Rich in agricultural products, foreign trade extended to more than 90 countries and regions, with over 400 varieties of commodities. Mechanical and electronic products are the major exports products of Tai An city. Over 30 countries and regions have business ventures here, such as Tai Open Electric Holdings Ltd and Shandong Luneng Tai Shan Electrical Company Ltd are among the high technological enterprises.
Mount Taishan, a mountain of rich historical and cultural significance, is also known as Dongyue and covers a total area of 426 square kilometres with its tallest peak (Jade Emperor Peak) of 1545 metres. As the first of the five sacred mountains in China, it was among the first top tourist attractions, and got listed in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. It then became among the top ten scenic landscape in China in 1991, identified as the first national batch of “The Most Important and Famous Landscape in China” and remarkable scenic tourist attraction in 1998, and a nationwide geological park in 2006.
Dating back to ancient Chinese civilization of over five thousand years of history, Mount Taishan is well- known for religious worship by many past emperors and people, praying to Heaven and Earth for the well-being and fortunes of the nation. Its profound historical, cultural, natural scenery each year attracts more than five million domestic and foreign tourists to visit for sightseeing.