Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

China's ice-snow economy boosts winter consumption


Tourists played in the ice and snow world, Harbin, December 31, 2023./CFP
Tourists played in the ice and snow world, Harbin, December 31, 2023./CFP

Tourists played in the ice and snow world, Harbin, December 31, 2023./CFP

Where is the most popular tourist city in China during the winter time? The answer for this year must be Harbin, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. It has emerged as a trending city online, drawing in a considerable influx of tourists.

Frozen pears, skiing, fishing and many other winter activities have attracted tourists from all over the country, as well as many international visitors.

The International Ice and Snow Festival kicked off on the evening of January 5. The ice and snow theme park, covering an area of 810,000 square meters, used a total of 250,000 cubic meters of ice and snow to craft sculptures such as castles and towers, which are illuminated by a spectrum of colorful lights.

As of the third day of the New Year holiday, Harbin received a total of more than 3 million tourists, and achieved a total tourism income of over 6 billion yuan ($827 million), both figures representing record highs.

Ice-snow activities has become popular in China, and it has become the choice for people to travel in winter. The number of tourists who participated in ice-snow activities from 2022 to 2023 resulted in 312 million passenger trips being taken, and generated revenue reaching 349 billion yuan ($49.9 billion), according to the China Tourism Academy. And the number is forecast to exceed 400 passenger trips, generating an estimated revenue of 550 billion yuan during the 2023-2024 snow season.

Alongside Harbin, other cities are also working to develop their respective ice-snow economies. A great number of other ice-snow activities are being held in the northeastern Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning this winter, delivering immersive experiences of folk cultural events, alongside ice-snow landscapes and sculptures.

Jilin Province, neighboring Heilongjiang, boasts 75 ski resorts, and has ranked first among China's skiing destinations for many years.

In some southern cities, large indoor ice and snow commercial complexes have become important places for people's entertainment consumption, offering many the opportunity to ski and skate at any time during the year.

Lifestyle app Meituan data showed that in Zhejiang Province, since December 2023, the search volume of the "skiing" keyword increased by 39 percent, and the search volume of "indoor skiing" increased by 42 percent. 

(With input from Xinhua)

Search Trends