Located just 15 km away from the airport, Changbai Mountain Wanda International Resort has become a popular destination for ski enthusiasts traveling from the eastern and southern regions of China.[Photo/Xinhua]
Snowboards and sleds have become the latest additions to Chinese New Year travelers’ luggage, alongside local specialties and gifts for family get-togethers.
Even a year after the conclusion of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, people’s enthusiasm for winter sports continues to grip the country, impelling a legion of winter tourists to join the first Spring Festival travel rush after China further optimized its COVID-19 measures.
Many people are taking advantage of the holiday season to hit the slopes and enjoy the snowy weather. “Apart from suitcases, snowboards, sleds and other winter sports gear are the most common luggage seen at the airport this holiday,” said Zhang Haili, a manager with the Changchun Longjia International Airport in the northeastern province of Jilin, which boasts several world-class ski resorts.
Through the 40-day holiday travel season, the province’s airports registered more than 15,500 flights and 1.93 million passenger trips, up 9.56 percent and 0.56 percent, respectively, from the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to the Jilin Civil Airports Group Company.
Tourists going for snow and ice activities have accounted for more than 60 percent of the air traffic, according to the company.
Since last December, Changbaishan Airport in the city of Baishan has increased domestic flights to metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou.
In January, the airport handled a record high of over 90,000 passengers, up 89.59 percent year on year and 35.77 percent higher than the 2019 level.
Located just 15 km away from the airport, Changbai Mountain Wanda International Resort has become a popular destination for ski enthusiasts traveling from the eastern and southern regions of China.
Song Wei, a veteran skier from Shanghai, has been busy practicing skiing at the resort since January. “I used to go to Japan and Europe for skiing, but now Changbai Mountain is my new destination,” Song said.
During the Spring Festival holiday, which ran from Jan 21 to 27 this year, the ski resort’s daily revenue exceeded 10 million yuan (about $1.46 million) for three consecutive days, the highest since 2012.
“With high-speed railways and flights linking the resort, people now have easier access to ice-and-snow recreation,” said Yang Zhe, a manager of the resort.