Harbin extravaganza boosts China's ice-and-snow economy

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-08 11:44
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The 40th International Ice and Snow Festival kicked off on Jan 5, 2024, in Harbin, capital city of China's northernmost Heilongjiang province.[Photo/Xinhua]

Sun said the number of ice slides in the park has increased from eight last winter to 14 this year, and this was done to cope with growing tourist demand. The longest slide runs 521 meters, providing a thrilling experience, and has become one of the hottest attractions in the park.

"My wife and I had thought about going to Thailand for a winter trip, but we were attracted by short videos that went viral online about ice-and-snow fun in Harbin. That is why we are here now," said Sun Chengzhe, a tourist from east China's Fujian Province.

According to a Trip.com report, tourists visiting Harbin during the New Year holiday were mainly from the metropolises of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing. The number of orders via Trip.com online booking platform for holiday travel to Harbin during this period rose 158 percent year on year.

In the three-day holiday, Harbin received a total of more than 3 million tourists, and achieved total tourism income of 5.9 billion yuan ($824.5 million ). Both numbers represent record highs.

Meanwhile, the municipal government of Harbin opted to make the opening day of the International Ice and Snow Festival on Friday a public holiday to boost the festival atmosphere.

Many warm-hearted local residents volunteered to help visitors fend off the freezing cold.

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