Wuhan sees booming tourism during National Day holiday, captures attention around the globe
Wuhan, the heroic city once hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, received over 18.8 million tourists, generating a comprehensive income of more than 9.2 billion yuan (about 1.4 billion USD) during the National Day holiday, according to the local tourism authority.
Tourists attend an intangible cultural heritage carnival in the East Lake Scenic Area in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, during the National Day holiday. [Changjiang Daily/He Xiaogang]
According to statistics from the municipal department of culture and tourism, the number of tourists and total income of tourism in the city have recovered to 83.2 percent and 73.2 percent of that of the same period a year ago, respectively during the eight-day combined holiday for the National Day and the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, which ran from Oct. 1 to 8.
Each of the seven major tourist attractions in the city, including the Yellow Crane Tower, a local landmark, received over 150,000 tourists.
The historic tower also launched night tours for the first time since opening to the public after its reconstruction, topping a major travel agency's list of the country's hottest scenic spots to visit during the holiday.
As life has largely returned to normal in Wuhan, during the holiday the city launched 143 activities to attract tourists and introduced 15 featured night tours, receiving 1.4 million tourists.
On the banks of the Yangtze and Hanjiang River, lights were staged from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8. According to incomplete statistics, a light show on the evening of Oct. 1 attracted more than 200,000 visitors at the Jiangtan tourist area.
While Wuhan has restored its vigor, the travel boom in the heroic city also reflected China's recovery from the epidemic, capturing the attention of the world through reports by global media outlets, including CNN and The New York Times.
"We received more tourists than last year's Golden Week holiday and were even too busy to eat every day," said Zhang Tai, deputy general manager of Hubei Kanghui International Travel Agency.
Zhang explained that the travel agency received more than 14,000 visitors who came from cities outside of Wuhan during the holiday.
"During the long holiday, scenic spots reduced or exempted tickets while prices at hotels remained the same as before, which reduced the costs of package tours in Wuhan," Zhang said, adding that the company witnessed more visitor arrivals on package tours from a year ago as many tourists outside of Wuhan wanted to visit the heroic city.
Xiaobu, a woman from Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan province, is one of them. In a WeChat group created by Changjiang Daily, she asked various questions, discussing special snacks in Wuchang district and the opening hours for the Gude Temple, before she visited the city for the first time.
Thanks to the active response from Wuhan netizens, she received online guidance and advice for travelling in the city.
"I felt people's hospitality in Wuhan ahead of my tour, so I have greater expectations for my trip in the city," Xiaobu said, noting that she was moved by local people’s hospitality when she arrived in the city on Oct. 2.
"When a taxi driver knew that I came from another province, he told me the location of a railway station and a wharf, as well as a ferry service," she said, adding that another taxi driver told her about the convenient route to the Yellow Crane Tower and invited her to visit the city again next summer.