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Ancient allure seen through a screen

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-25 08:03
The Sleepless City of Tang, a major destination in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, attracts tourists with its colorful lighting on ancient-style architecture at night.[Photo by Wang Xin/For China Daily]

The popularity of a recent online drama staged in the Tang Dynasty has translated into a surge of visitors to Xi'an, Xu Lin reports.

The hit thriller series, The Longest Day in Chang'an, takes viewers to the heyday of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). And since its premiere on June 27, it has been creating a new heyday for Xi'an's travel sector and interest in its past.

In the online drama, a death-row inmate, played by actor Lei Jiayin, accepts a mission from a government official, played by singer-actor Yi Yangqianxi, during Lantern Festival. The condemned criminal must save the national capital, Chang'an, from a secret enemy attack within 24 hours. Chang'an is today Shaanxi's provincial capital, Xi'an.

The show's extreme popularity has intensified interest in travel to Xi'an. It demonstrates a new model for marketing destinations in the mobile-internet era.

Major online travel agency Ctrip says searches for flights to the city increased 130 percent from July 2 to 8 compared with the previous week.

"Xi'an" searches on Chinese travel website Mafengwo increased 22 percent week-on-week from the series' debut on June 27.

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