Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Thursday, March 11 2021 - 19:09
Ice, snow fire up China's winter wonderland
Harbin, China, March 11, 2021 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

On a bitterly cold morning, the screams and cheers from the tourists broke the 
peace of the forest sea and snow plain of Yabuli Ski Resort,located in Harbin, 
capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang province. Skiing enthusiasts were 
experiencing the speed and excitement brought by this unique winter sports.

"Amazing! It is a really an impressive skiing experience!" Sun Bin, a tourist 
from Guangzhou, was so excited that he couldn't wait to slide down the mountain.

Known as either the "Oriental Moscow" or "Oriental Paris", Harbin won fame in 
late 1800s and early 1900s after construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway 
financed by then Russian Empire. Apart from its unique combination of oriental 
and European architectural styles, the city is also known for its ice and snow 
festivals in winter.

In 1963, Harbin held its first ice lantern fair. Diverse winter activities 
gradually began to appear since then, and the first ice and snow festival was 
held in 1985. 

Ice and snow have become a magnet for tourism in Harbin, which has been 
vigorously promoting winter tourism by making full use of its sufficient ice 
and snow resources.

After development of a few decades, Harbin has gained international attention 
for its increasingly popular winter extravaganza, the International Ice and 
Snow Festival, which features massive, elaborate ice sculptures, competitions 
and winter sports.

In the "2021 China Ice and Snow Tourism Development Online Forum", Harbin 
ranked first among the "China Top 10 Ice and Snow Tourism Destinations". Every 
winter, visitors from home and abroad inundate Harbin, increasing consumption, 
creating jobs and stimulating the local economy.

Every winter, the city sees record numbers of bank transactions and airport 
passengers. Visitors are finding it difficult to find hotel rooms and taxis. 
The passenger throughput of Harbin Taiping International Airport ranks first 
among the four major airports in Northeast China for five consecutive years. 

Boosted by strong consumer demand, tourism industry has become a pillar of 
growth for the economy of the city. During the 13th five-year Plan period 
(2016-2020), Harbin received 406 million tourists and made tourism revenue of 
627.13 billion yuan (around 96.39 billion U.S. dollars), which was 1.46 times 
and 1.86 times that during the 12th five-year Plan (2011-2015) respectively.

Source: The People's Government of Harbin Municipality