Tourists pose for pictures in a grove of blooming trees. [Photo by Zhang Ling/Nanyang Evening Post]
Nanyang received 1.3 million visitors during the Qingming Festival holiday from April 5 to 7 and made 655 million yuan ($104 million) in tourism revenue, up 29 and 30 percent year-on-year respectively.
A substantial proportion of tourists in Nanyang paid respect to revolutionary martyrs and took part in patriotic education. Favored destinations included the Tongbai Revolutionary Memorial Hall and Peng Xuefeng Memorial Hall.
Due to the fine weather, many visitors also chose to enjoy the spring flower bloom in Nanyang. On offer were the magnolia flower festival in Nanzhao county, vast-stretching cherry blossom in Xichuan county and the floral sea in Fangcheng county.
As the holiday only lasted for three days, self-driving trips by family members became the prevailing practice and accounted for one third of total visits. Most of the tourists were from neighboring cities such as Zhengzhou, Luoyang and Xinyang.
Another highlighted trend was the increasingly significant role of internet stimulation for tourism development. Statistics showed that more and more tourists booked tickets and made reservations online. The number of visitors using third-party payment platforms was also on the rise.
Furthermore, local tourist attractions ventured into these new business channels. In addition to offering intelligent guides, they also posted information in terms of weather, travel routes, catering and accommodation via their official websites and WeChat accounts.