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Harbin Becomes World's Most Popular Winter Tourism Destination

Harbin in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province has become the most popular winter tourism destination in the Northeast China region, according to a big data analysis of China’s tourism websites.

Mudanjiang city in Heilongjiang has also entered the winter tourism destination list, ranking fifth, the report found.

It said Harbin won the honor due to its rich ice and snow resources.

It features the national-level Yabuli Ski Resort, the world’s largest ice and snow entertainment park -- Harbin Ice and Snow World. It also has the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada and Norway's Ski Festival.

Finally, it has the Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo and the Harbin International Ice Lantern Party.

Statistics from China’s tourism websites showed that the incoming tourists are mainly from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Yantai and Sanya.

The analysis found that of the incoming tourists, visitors  from Xi'an, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou increased by more than 150 percent compared with the same period last year.

Local tourist agents said that from late November to mid-December, the price of air tickets to Heilongjiang is relatively cheap, which stimulates tourism market in Harbin.

For example, the discount on direct flights from Guangzhou to Harbin ranges from 36 percent to 50 percent, the price of flights from Shenzhen to Harbin is as much as 31 percent of regular prices, and direct Xi’an-Harbin flight prices are discounted by up to 16 percent, with the lowest price coming in at 300 yuan ($43).