Huge crowds flock to Hangzhou's scenic areas

Wu Huixin
Over 5 million people visited Hangzhou's West Lake Scenic Area for the eight-day Chinese New Year holiday, a 23 percent increase from the previous year.
Wu Huixin

Over 5 million people visited Hangzhou's West Lake scenic area during the eight-day Chinese New Year holiday, 23 percent more than in 2019.

Feilai Peak, Lingyin Temple, The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, and Hangzhou Zoo were the major attractions.

The odd-and-even license plate scheme for vehicles, including out-of-town cars, was put into effect at the West Lake scenic area.

Big data technology limited cabs' entry into scenic spots and picked up passengers from fixed spots.

The Hangzhou Traffic Bureau reported a 29 percent year-over-year decline in the congestion index. Around 500,000 vehicles visited the West Lake scenic area during the holiday, down 7.1 percent from 2023.

Formerly, Lingyin Temple used to be packed during holidays. The municipal transport department restricted traffic through one-way roads around the temple and adopted a reservation system on certain roads.

Shuttle buses connected Metro stations and attractions, considerably reducing holiday traffic. The traffic bureau reported that over 42 percent of travelers took public transportation to scenic spots.

Huge crowds flock to Hangzhou's scenic areas
Ti Gong

A traditional wedding scene became the highlight for tourists on Hefang Street.

The Hangzhou Commerce Bureau reported a 63.3 percent increase in citywide consumption receipts of 16.65 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion).

The city's hotels hosted 1.89 million guests, up 60 percent year over year. Average hotel occupancy (excluding family-run guesthouses) was 48.1 percent, up 12 percent from 2023.

Local department statistics show that most out-of-town visitors came from Shanghai and Guangdong, Jiangsu, Anhui and Shandong provinces.

The catering business also enjoyed a windfall. Holiday business was strong for restaurants, with transactions rising 99.1 percent to 1.13 million. People spent 3.37 billion yuan on dining out, up 44.3 percent from the previous Chinese New Year.

In scenic sites like West Lake, Xianghu Lake and the Grand Canal, restaurants fared even better.

Xin Bai Lu, Hua Zhong Cheng, and Mingren Mingjia, the three popular brands in Gongshu District, where the Grand Canal passes, earned 4.62 million yuan, up 32.6 percent from the previous Spring Festival.

Green Tea and Grandma's Kitchen, Hangzhou's culinary icons, saw a 30 percent increase in consumption year over year.

Huge crowds flock to Hangzhou's scenic areas
Ti Gong

A dragon dance at Hubin Road drew a large crowd of spectators during the Chinese New Year holiday in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou held many dragon-themed activities to teach people and children about the city's history and traditions. Cultural spending rose 16 percent to 3.1 billion yuan.

Over 2.13 million people attended Shangcheng District dragon and lion dance performances in Qianjiang Newtown, Wushan and Hubin areas.

Chun'an County authorities held a Chinese dragon-themed riding activity at the Thousand Islands Lake scenic area, attracting 82,000 visitors and generating almost 3 million yuan.

Zhongshan Pedestrian Road and Yanzhou Ancient Town in Jiande County conducted festive activities that drew 500,000 people, with consumption amounting to 40 million yuan.

Retailing boomed in hipster malls. Designer brand and guochao (China chic) sales in Hubin Yintai IN77 rose 45 percent from the previous Chinese New Year holiday.

The Hangzhou government held a shopping festival to stimulate the economy. Through March, downtown business districts like Wulin, Hubin and Qianjiang Newtown are hosting retail events for the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival and Women's Day.

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