When Marco Polo visited Hangzhou, China hundreds of years ago, he described it as “The City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world.” A recent contest put on by the Hangzhou Tourism Commission sought to find a modern-day Marco Polo who could appreciate the beauty, nature, history and culture of Hangzhou and spread word of it to the world. This week the contest, which generated a pool of more than 26,000 applicants, named a winner: 26-year-old Liam Bates. Bates, a world traveler, will be rewarded $55,000 over the next year to promote Hangzhou to a global audience. He will start with a19-day trip to Hangzhou, then tweet, post and vlog about it over the next year.
Located in eastern China, approximately 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, Hangzhou is home to seven World Heritage Sites, the start of the Grand Canal in China, many magnificent museums, and more than 5,000 years of rich culture and beautiful natural surroundings for visitors to enjoy.
Bates is excited to be the modern-day Marco Polo for Hangzhou and looks forward to starting his official duties. To read more about Bates, the contest or Hangzhou, read the full article here.