The Xiangbi Mountain scenic area, a landmark riverside attraction in Guilin of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, will open for free for both domestic and overseas visitors starting from Jan 31, officials announced during a press conference on Jan 25.
Xiangbi Mountain is located at the confluence of Taohua and Lijiang rivers in Guilin and it looks like an elephant drinking water by the river. It was recognized as a symbol of Guilin in 1995 and the scenic area receives over 1 million tourists every year.
Jiang Chunhua, deputy mayor of Guilin, noted that Guilin will keep enhancing the construction of local scenic areas and upgrading their service capacities, striving to turn Xiangbi Mountain scenic area into a first choice for domestic tourists and to make more contributions to build Guilin into a world-class tourism city.
Considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Xiangbi Mountain scenic area now has suspended tourist group visits from provinces, autonomous regions, and cities with high-risk areas as well as from land border cities, except those connected with Hong Kong and Macao via checkpoints.
Visitors will have to log in to the official website with their real names and make reservations 24 hours before the visit.
Wang Zixi, head of the Guilin bureau of culture, radio, film, television, and tourism, said that the new measure is both a challenge and an impetus for the scenic area as it will have to maintain high-standard management without incomes from tickets.
Wang noted that Guilin will launch a new water sightseeing route that connects Xiangbi Mountain and other scenic areas in the city allowing visitors to get a closer look at the city's charm.