HARBIN, China, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The 47th Harbin Ice Lantern Fair recently kicked off in the northern Chinese city of Harbin. The event features about 270 groups of ice sculptures scattered across an area of six hectares. In addition to lifelike ice sculptures, the venue also offers interactive amusement programs such as ancient sailboat-shaped slides, octopus-shaped slides, and a clown labyrinth. They are not only for sightseeing, but also enable tourists to enjoy a thrilling experience on ice.
At the same time, the month-long 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Expo was moved online for the first time with the help of new technologies such as 5G, big data and cloud computing. The expo includes six exhibition zones to respectively display ice and snow equipment, apparel, auxiliaries, ice sculpture tools, ice and snow tourism, and food for cold regions. Companies and audiences from around the world can view the expo and interact with exhibitors online. The expo is committed to provide a platform for those engaged in the ice and snow industry to carry out economic cooperation and exchange, enhance tourists' confidence in winter tourism amidst the pandemic, and inject new momentum into the development of the ice and snow economy. It also marks a new attempt made by the "Ice City" of Harbin to integrate its unique ice and snow resources with the digital economy.
As the provincial capital with the highest latitude in China, Harbin has a long, cold winter, when the temperature may drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius and cold winds and snowfalls are frequent. Typically, extreme cold weathers may bring challenges to a city's daily operation and economic development. However, this isn't the case for Harbin, which has successfully turned this disadvantage into its iconic advantage. Through measures like expanding domestic and international markets for its ice and snow resources and presenting travel programs and theme parks including the Ice and Snow World, the city has boosted tourism development and turned its cold environment into a driving force for economic growth.
As the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics draw near, Harbin has taken the opportunity to promote the development of the ice and snow industry at both supply and demand ends to meet the needs of tourists and travel agencies in the post-pandemic era. Through combined measures such as reinforcing brand building and improving tourist service capacity and quality, the city has established a high-quality ice and snow tourism products supply system.
Technological progress plays an important role in accelerating intelligent transformation and high-quality development of ice and snow tourism in Harbin. Since 2015, the Ice and Snow World has offered free Wi-Fi to tourists, and traditional lamps have been replaced by energy-conserving LED strip lights to provide better visual effects. Tourists can enjoy hot pot in cold igloos with a temperature of minus 30 degrees Celsius. Such interactions between natural scenery and personal experiences will promote tourism and stimulate economic development.