Wuzhizhou Island in Hainan province is one of the nation's most-visited scenic resorts.[Photo provided to China Daily]
A number of tourist destinations across China have recently reopened to the public as the country sees gradual stabilization of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
Initially reported in the city of Wuhan in Central China's Hubei province, the epidemic rapidly spread to other parts of the country as China prepared to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year – Chinese Lunar New Year, which is also known as Spring Festival. In swift response to the crisis, scenic sites and museums nationwide were temporarily closed from January 22, and numerous festive events and celebrations were called off to minimize mass gatherings.
However, it didn't stop scenic spots from moving forward. In a bid to survive the winter and better brace for the upcoming reopenings, some scenic spots have used the temporary closure to seek ways to improve the quality of their tourism product.
Renovations and online system upgrade
In South China's Sanya, one of the nation's most-visited scenic resorts, Wuzhizhou Island made use of the "window period" to conduct a series of renovations: broadening roads, pruning plants and maintaining the underwater landscape. It also upgraded its ticketing system on its official website.
Hainan province witnessed a year-on-year drop of 23 percent in tourist arrivals in January due to the COVID-19 outbreak, data from the local authority showed. A total of 5.03 million tourist arrivals generated a tourism revenue of 6.5 billion yuan ($0.94 billion), down 27.1 percent from the previous year.
To fully prepare for the return of tourists after the epidemic, they've been improving both the facilities and the online service, said Chen Yandong, vice chairman of the scenic site's management.
In Central China's Hunan province, construction workers were seen busy reconstructing roads and renovating sewage networks at the Fenghuang Ancient Town in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture. Known for its ancient Chinese-style architecture and diverse cultural charms, Fenghuang County attracted 20.1 million visitors last year.
"Currently, we are focusing on epidemic prevention and control on one hand. On the other hand, we also make efforts to upgrade our tourist attracWireless Tour Guide Systemtions," an official with the local culture and tourism bureau said.