Grateful Wuhan encourages citizens to give best viewing time to tourists
The virus-ravaged city of Wuhan has encouraged its residents to avoid visiting scenic spots during weekends and holidays to make sightseeing easier for non-local tourists.
The city's culture and tourism department issued a proposal on Thursday calling for locals to shun the peak touring times, including weekends and holidays, when booking trips to the city's tourist sites.
Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, last week scrapped entrance fees in its 364 major tourist sites for domestic visitors, a token of gratitude for the nationwide assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The proposal said medical teams and donations poured in from across China as the city fought the coronavirus, and the people of Wuhan made a promise with the non-local helpers that they will meet again in Wuhan when the epidemic subsides.
"Now peace has returned to this land, and Wuhan is now a healthy and safe city," it said. "It's time to deliver the promise and express our gratitude to those who have helped and supported the city."
Officials said many tourist sites in Wuhan saw reservations hitting the cap soon after the announcement of the free-entry policy, which took effect starting on August 8.
During the past weekend, the city's A-level scenic spots received 352,000 tourists, with the daily number of visitors increasing by three times month on month.
The call was supported by many Hubei netizens on China's social media.
"The medical teams rushed to our help when the city was in its most difficult moments. Now we hope they can come again to see Wuhan in better shape," reads one remark on the microblogging site Sina Weibo.
"It is a very heartwarming gesture," said another. "The arrival of tourists can also help the local economy recover from the epidemic."