Chinese water towns lure festival tourists

Online inquiries about Xitang and Wuzhen, two popular water towns in east China’s Zhejiang Province, increased by 22.6 and 18.4 percent respectively in late October, according to Mafengwo, a Chinese tourism website.

Young Chinese tourists booked accommodation and train tickets in advance to enjoy the annual Xitang Hanfu Cultural Festival and Wuzhen Theatre Festival.

“Many destinations are building such cultural activities to attract tourists who share the same interests. It’s an integration of culture and tourism,” said Feng Rao, head of Mafengwo’s travel research center.

Searches for the Wuzhen Theatre Festival on the website increased by 37 percent before its opening ceremony on October 25, according to the data. Prices of some hotels in Xitang increased 200 to 400 percent when the Hanfu Cultural Festival kicked off on October 26.

While Xitang and Wuzhen are popular one-day destinations for those who live in nearby regions, most tourists stay three to seven days on average during the festivals to immerse themselves in the activities.
Participants take part in an event at the Xitang Hanfu Cultural Festival in east China’s Zhejiang Province, October 26, 2019. 

Feng said the success of the festivals has made Xitang and Wuzhen stand out among its counterparts, with a transition from a town for leisure to a full-blown cultural destination.

Source: China Daily                                                        Update: November 2, 2019