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Visitor wins horse from tourist site in Ordos

By Zou Shuo and Yuan Hui in Hohhot | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-18 08:41
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A tourist visiting the Inner Mongolia autonomous region has been awarded a Mongolian horse worth 20,000 yuan ($2,756) by a scenic area in Ordos, as part of the site's efforts to promote its unique horse culture and attract more tourists.

The traveler, surnamed Zhao, who hails from the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, won the horse in a random lottery draw during the Dragon Boat Festival, said Liu Qi, general manager of the marketing division of the Ordos Grassland Travel Area.

The annual lottery draw has been organized eight times, with one horse awarded to a visitor each year, Liu said. If the winner does not have suitable accommodations for the horse, they can receive a cash award instead, he added.

Ordos is known for its rich horse culture, which has been an essential part of people's lives in the region. Residents rely on horses for a variety of tasks and activities, including transportation, hunting, herding, breeding and horse racing.

The prize horse has been transported to Zhao's breeding base in Ningxia, Liu said.

A post about this year's draw on social media has garnered millions of views from netizens, who expressed surprise that the prize was a real horse. Others joked that the giant panda base in Sichuan province should consider holding a similar lottery and send the winner one of the animals.

Although it is rare for animals to be won in a lottery, such draws have been a popular way to promote sites and products.

For example, six tourists won pianos made by a piano company in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, during Spring Festival in early February as part of an event to promote the Canton Tower, the fifth-tallest free-standing tower in the world.

Deng Ning, vice-dean of Beijing International Studies University's School of Tourism Sciences, said the opportunity to win a horse from the grassland site helped it generate a great deal of attention that could attract more visitors.

Though lottery draws at such sites are common, many have failed to properly connect with their local cultures, Deng said.

"Combining a unique local culture and lottery draw can better help the travel area generate more social buzz and publicity," he said.

However, they also need to make sure draws are conducted fairly and that the prizes are awarded in a timely manner, he added. Travelers also need to watch out for fraudulent events, as there have been reports of phony lotteries related to travel.

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