HAIKOU, June 17. /TASS/. Hainan's administrative center Haikou received over 360,000 tourists during the nationwide weekend on the occasion of Dragon Boat Festival which lasted from June 12 to 14, reported the Hainan Daily citing local authorities.
According to the newspaper, the figure was 31% higher than the same period last year. About a third of tourists visited Haikou with at least one overnight stay, spending 221 million yuan (about $ 34.3 million). Thus, the income of the Haikou tourism industry in three days increased by 89% year on year.
According to the Municipal Department of Culture and Tourism, the weekend on the occasion of the festival, celebrated annually on the 5th of the fifth month of the lunar calendar (this year — June 14), coincided with the Chinese Day of Cultural and Natural Heritage (in China, it falls on the second Saturday of June). "In this regard, all tourist sites in Haikou held a series of actions and special cultural and entertainment events aimed at increasing the flow of tourists," the department said.
Among the sights that drew special attention of tourists are monuments of ancient architecture, the route of the so-called red tourism (visiting memorable places where important revolutionary events once took place), small extinct volcanoes and traditional villages. Moreover, tourists showed interest in Hainan opera and other types of local folk scenic art, such as the lion dance performed by artists in clothing stylized as these predators.
Haikou has played a key role in the socio-economic development of Hainan since ancient times. It is located on an important trade route from the west through the Qiongzhou Strait to Hong Kong and East Asia and has therefore always played a key role as a regional hub for cultural cooperation between China and neighboring countries. The old part of the city has a unique charm, which, in particular, is explained by the successful combination of architectural styles from different historical eras. Its special aura annually attracts many tourists, both from China and abroad.