Spring blooms give a boost to tourism

Updated: Mar 29, 2024 By CHENG SI CHINA DAILY Print
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Tourists enjoy the peach blossoms on Su Causeway beside West Lake in Hangzhou, capital city of East China's Zhejiang province, on Wednesday. [Photo by Li Zhong/For China Daily]

Flower-viewing tourism has taken off this spring as bounteous blooms bend branches in public parks across China.

"I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but it felt like Beihai Park — a well-preserved royal park in Beijing — had tens of millions of people viewing peach flowers on Saturday," said Li Nan, a 28-year-old from Beijing who visited the park with his girlfriend over the weekend. "I felt like I was raised from the ground by the crowd.

"Spring is all about flowers and outings. It's a good time to take pictures for people you love. I've seen many girls wearing Chinese hanfu pose for pictures with the peach flowers at the park. That's awesome."

Travel agencies said bookings for flower-viewing tours surged late this month now that flowers like cherry blossoms, tulips and rape are blooming and temperatures are beginning to rise.

According to the Qunar travel portal, flower viewing, spring outings and mountain climbing are buzzwords among its users. It said bookings for short-distance tours are up 30 percent from last month, and bookings for flower viewing trips have jumped fourfold year-on-year.

"Cherry blossoms have a shorter flowering season, with their blooming time lasting about 10 days, so it's always the first and top choice for flower-viewing travelers," said Tuniu, another travel portal, adding that Nanjing in Jiangsu province and Wuhan in Hubei province are popular destinations.

It said Pingba Farm, a flower and tree breeding base in Guizhou province, has been popular in recent years because it has roughly 700,000 cherry trees and its blossoming season usually lasts from March to mid-April.

In addition to white and pink cherry flowers, the golden rape flowers in Luoping in Yunnan province and Wuyuan in Jiangxi province are also popular among flower lovers.

Tuniu said 61 percent of flower-viewing tours are booked by women.

"Young people aged from 26 to 35 and those above 55 are also passionate in their appreciation for flowers," it said.

People's passion for flower viewing has also driven growth in trips to overseas destinations with flower blossoms. The online travel agency Trip.com Group said that bookings to Japan — famous for its cherry blossoms — were up 360 percent compared with last month.

Jeju Island in South Korea was another popular choice for travelers wanting to view cherry blossoms, it added.

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