FOR months the Chinese government banned its citizens from going to Wuhan, the place of origin of the new corona virus (COVID-19) which caused a pandemic. Now, Wuhan is the target of tourists who want to visit China this year.
According to a study, a poll of 15,000 people, plus data from 20 million social media posts, carried out by the Chinese Tourism Academy in Beijing, stated that people wanted to visit Wuhan.
The vast city on the banks of the Yangtze River suddenly shot to number one as a city to visit in the country, up from eighth position last year. Wuhan City slowly rose again after an 11-week lockdown that ended on April 8, 2020.
The study says that travelers want to visit Wuhan with the aim of helping the economic recovery in the region, said research director Dr. Song Rui.
The abundance of cheap hotels and affordable travel deals attract young and low-income people. This group of young people plans to travel on average 4 at the end of the year, when the economic situation is favorable.
The aftermath of the virus on Chinese travel habits will benefit Wuhan as well. People say they will be happier over the coming months to stay with domestic attractions and short distance trips, said Song Rui.
Ironically, Wuhan is one of those places that the Chinese consider “far safer” than destinations abroad. After a new outbreak of half a dozen new infections last week, the city of Wuhan has launched an ambitious campaign to test its 11 million inhabitants.
About 800 km west of Shanghai, at the confluence of the Yangtze and Han rivers, the central business, cultural and financial city of Central China developed in 1949 from the merging of three ancient cities: Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang.
Wuhan has regained its status as an economic dynamo – a center of technology and an automotive industry that has begun to develop, where (said the local government) around 300 of the world’s 500 largest companies, from Microsoft to Honda Motor, have been established.
The TripAdvisor travel planning application starts recommending Wuhan travel, “Start planning Wuhan now,” TripAdvisor wrote, marking the city’s Qing Dynasty-style temples, willow-lined lakes, and exotic restaurants.
The province around Hubei itself, which no one had wanted to visit before, also made it into the Top 10 this year. For now the ongoing Chinese travel ban makes overseas visits impossible.
On the other hand, people from Wuhan themselves have left their city randomly since quarantine ended. Now, as lockdowns begin to slacken across the country, Delta is one of the airlines thinking of resuming flights to China in June, hoping to end travel restrictions. [antaranews/photo special]