Magnificent ice sculptures at this year's Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Photo/CGTN)
The Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, has already begun with dazzling displays to see and an array of activities to experience.
The annual event has been running for 33 years in Harbin and has become one of the world's most attractive winter tourist destinations. Thanks to the extremely low temperatures which produce ice and snow for these attractions, the city is able to turn what used to be an energy and manufacturing economy to a money-spinning tourist economy.
The Heilongjiang Provincial Tourism Development Committee revealed to CGTN that, in the first three quarters of 2017, they had received nearly 145.5 billion yuan from domestic tourist revenue. This is a significant financial increase, up around 23 percent from the previous year. And in the third quarter of 2017, the domestic tourist revenue was approximately 62.5 billion yuan, up by even more, with a 38.46 percent increase year-on-year.
This significant increase of visitors at the festival is not only beneficial for the city's tourism sector, but also profits other industries such as transportation, hospitality and retail.
CGTN visited the oldest Russian restaurant in Harbin, called Pectopah, and spoke to manager Liu Xiulei to find out what the event does for them and how they make up for the quieter months in the calendar.
"The Ice and Snow Festival is very good for our restaurant business, which is the best during the period from mid-December to the end of February when the event is on. Then business declines over the summer, as we get half of the number of customers compared to the winter. It's then that we use some promotions like group buying activities to pull customers in," Liu said.