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Harbin sees tourism spike during holiday

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-17 09:20
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Tourists dress up to take photos on the square in front of St. Sophia Cathedral, a landmark in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on May 1. WANG JIANWEI/XINHUA

HARBIN — Harbin, known as China's "ice city" in northeastern Heilongjiang province, reported a 35 percent year-on-year increase in the number of tourists and a 71.7 percent increase in tourism revenue during the May Day holiday, evidence of the continued growth of the city's tourism market.

During the five-day holiday, Harbin welcomed more than 6.2 million tourists, generating tourism revenue of nearly 7.3 billion yuan ($1.03 billion), according to the city's tourism department. Data released by group, a major travel platform in China, shows an 85 percent year-on-year increase in inbound tourism bookings to Harbin as a destination.

The city has witnessed a tourism boom since gaining popularity on social media platforms last winter. Harbin's abundant ice-and-snow resources, attentive services for tourists and favorable government policies have transformed it into a bustling holiday destination.

During the three-day New Year holiday, the city welcomed nearly 3.05 million visitors, raking in 5.91 billion yuan in tourism revenue. Both the number of tourists and the amount of tourism revenue surpassed the numbers seen in 2019.

Despite the melting of ice and snow and the closure of the landmark theme park, Harbin Ice-Snow World, enthusiasm for tourism in the ice city remains undiminished.

To attract more tourists and improve overall services, Harbin introduced an array of activities and enhanced consumers' experiences during the holiday.

On the first day of the May Day holiday, a giant inflatable castle theme park opened to the public at the Ice-Snow World site. A brand new 18-meter-tall inflatable snowman replaced the original snowman, attracting parents and children to the new theme park.

"The tourism boom in Harbin shouldn't be limited to just the winter season; it should flourish all year round," said Wang Hongxin, director of the culture and tourism bureau of Harbin.

Themed buses and cruise ships have offered visitors the opportunity to enjoy the city's sites, nighttime light shows, drone performances and the scenic Songhua River. The city has also hosted dramas, concerts, ballets and other performances for tourists from across the world. "I didn't expect to see such large crowds at all the major attractions. I went out with friends and experienced the bustling atmosphere during the holiday, which made me very happy," said Cang Xin, a Harbin resident.

To further boost summer tourism, the city will host more activities featuring music, beer and performance festivals.


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