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Harbin’s ice-snow world: Winter tourism hub fuels local economy

Harbin, 10 January, 2024 (GNP): Amidst winter landscape adorned by radiant moonlight, Harbin Ice-Snow World has become a magnet for tourists, illuminating the “ice city” and elevating it as a vibrant hotspot amid China’s winter travel rush.

The capital of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province, Harbin holds the esteemed title of “crown jewel of ice and snow” within the country. This season, it has emerged as a top winter tourism destination, with a record-breaking influx of tourists during the New Year holiday, totaling 3.05 million visitors and generating 5.91 billion yuan in tourism revenue.

Winter tourism’s robust momentum has invigorated the local economy, with global players capitalizing on this burgeoning enthusiasm for ice and snow tours. Pierre G. Chidiac, the general manager of Sofitel Harbin, underlined the surge in passenger numbers at transport hubs, reflecting the flourishing hotel business amid freezing temperatures.

Chidiac, representing the French hospitality group Accor, expressed his enduring admiration for Harbin’s Ice-Snow World and Central Street’s European-style architecture. He highlighted the city’s enduring economic vitality, particularly its appeal to modern travelers inclined toward adventurous journeys and engaging in diverse ice and snow activities along the Songhua River.

Moreover, Dai Bin, President of the China Tourism Academy, emphasized the spillover effect of ice and snow tourism on the local economy, boosting industries like catering, retail, and performance, while promoting investments and R&D in scenic spots and equipment.

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Harbin’s tourist-friendly initiatives and customer-centric approach have resonated well, paving the way for the city to showcase its development to a global audience. Ye Fei, president and CEO of Michelin China, praised Harbin’s inclusive tourism environment and well-developed public service system as catalysts for the city’s ice and snow economy.

The city’s crown jewel, Harbin Ice-Snow World, covering a vast area on the northern bank of the Songhua River, features intricate French-inspired ice sculptures supported by a French company, fostering cultural dialogue and exchanges between China and France.

Ye Fei further outlined Michelin’s plans to introduce French food festivals in more Chinese cities, offering high-quality French products to Chinese consumers.

The thriving ice and snow tourism in Harbin showcases the robust vitality of China’s economy, inspiring confidence in international enterprises operating within the Chinese market.