A dog sleigh in Lengji village in Inner Mongolia. [Photo by XU LIN/CHINA DAILY]
The number of Fliggy users searching for winter getaways surged 48 percent in 2018, compared with the previous year, while inquires for winter activities have quadrupled at Tuniu, a major domestic travel agency headquartered in eastern Jiangsu province.
Tuniu expects its winter customers to grow by 30 percent year-on-year during the 2018-19 season.
"Splendid ice-snow landscapes and scenery, as well as lush folk customs in such areas, have both become important attractions for winter tourism," says Li Qiuyan, an official with the online travel agency Lvmama.
The company's winter package bookings more than doubled month-on-month during November and December.
Those from eastern and southern cities, such as Shanghai, Guangdong province's Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Zhejiang province's Hangzhou and Fujian province's Xiamen, have all shown great enthusiasm for winter tourism, Li says.
Northeastern Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces remain the most popular winter tourism destinations in China, according to Tuniu.
Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region's Urumqi and Altay prefecture have also drawn increasing attention from winter travelers for their traditional folk customs, such as winter fishing and horse racing.
Provinces across the country have promoted new themed activities with cheaper prices, offering discounts to tourist attractions, flights and subsidies to travel agencies to woo winter vacationers.
Northwestern Gansu province has launched winter tourism programs featuring Silk Road gourmet food and landscape scenery to appeal to travelers from far and wide.
Gansu abounds in historical sites and natural and ethnic elements, and is known as the birthplace of the Chinese civilization.
Free and discounted tickets to major scenic spots in Gansu will be offered during the winter period until the end of March, and top-rated restaurants are also offering preferential rates.
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