China’s ‘ice city’ draws record number of tourists over New Year holiday

The “ice city” of Harbin, the snowy capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, attracted a record number of visitors over the New Year holiday, many of them drawn by the grand and intricate ice sculptures of its annual Ice and Snow Festival.
The towering ice structures, illuminated in a dazzling array of lights at night, are built from ice blocks harvested from the frozen Songhua River nearby.

This year’s festival helped draw 3.05 million visitors to Harbin during the three-day New Year holiday that ended on Monday, generating 5.91 billion yuan ($826 million) in tourism revenue, state media agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. Those numbers exceeded the number of pre-Covid visits in 2019.

Growth in the city’s accommodation and catering sectors during the holiday period more than doubled from 2019, local newspaper Harbin Daily reported. The city’s tourism department attributed the growth to Harbin’s increasing popularity on social media platforms, Xinhua said.—Xinhua