Chinese tourists flock to savor trendy immersive experiences
Amidst sub-zero temperatures, tourists donning traditional Chinese attire, Hanfu, strolled through ancient-style buildings in a vibrant block, happily posing for photographers.
Located in the city of Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, this block features elements of Chang'an, the old name for the city when it was the capital of China's Tang Dynasty (618-907). This lively area provides tourists with an immersive experience reminiscent of a day in the dynasty.
The block has various traditional Chinese buildings featuring Tang Dynasty style, adorned with carved beams and painted rafters. This area also hosts performances such as Tang Dynasty songs, dances and interactive reenactments featuring celebrities from that era.
Xie Rong, a tourist from Southwest China's Sichuan province, said she spent 400 yuan (about $56.2) to rent a Hanfu and do makeup, and another 200 yuan on hiring a photographer to take pictures for her.
"Wearing Chinese dress for a journey back in time is what I'm eagerly looking forward to on this trip to Xi'an," said Xie. "Instead of having a hurried and cursory glance at scenic spots, I'm more willing to spend my money on experience tours."
This new year season, China's cultural tourism industry is brimming with vitality and the enthusiasm among visitors continues to surge.
"With the cultural tourism industry off to a rosy start, we have realized that the essence of tourism projects today is no longer to showcase tourism resources, but to create a unique and wonderful experience for the visitors," said Zou Linfeng, who is in charge of the ancient-style block project.
According to Liang Xuecheng, a professor at the Northwest University, among the traditional demand factors such as food, accommodation, travel, shopping and entertainment, entertainment consumption has increased significantly, accounting for about 20 percent from less than 15 percent in the past.
Liang added that the consumers have higher demands for personalized experiences, spiritual enjoyment and service quality in tourism.
According to a white paper on China's travel consumption trend in 2023, released by institutes including Tongcheng Research Institute, with the shift in consumer demand, tourism consumption has shown a trend toward seeking uniqueness, relaxation, and unexpected surprises.
Dubbed as China's "ice city," Harbin, capital of the country's northernmost province of Heilongjiang, has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations this winter. While immersing themselves in the immense fun of ice and snow activities, tourists flocked to places such as morning markets and bathhouses in the city, seeking more diverse and immersive experiences.
According to the China Tourism Academy, the country's domestic tourism market witnessed rapid recovery in 2023, and it is anticipated to enter a new stage of prosperity in 2024.
The academy predicted that total domestic travel will exceed 6 billion visits in 2024 and that domestic tourism revenue is likely to surpass 6 trillion yuan.