A show is staged near the famed Wooden Pagoda in Yingxian county. More events will be staged throughout Shanxi during the forthcoming May Day holiday. [Photo by Zhang Meiping for China Daily]
As the five-day May Day holiday approaches, Shanxi's tourism authorities at various levels have recently announced a raft of incentive policies and measures to attract tourists from across the country.
The incentives released by the Shanxi Department of Culture and Tourism as well as similar institutions in Shanxi's 11 prefecture-level cities cover such areas as preferential ticket prices, offering convenience to visitors, providing subsidies to tourism operators, and organizing promotional activities.
Reduction or exemption of ticket fees will be a common practice of many tourist attractions in Shanxi during the holiday period spanning from April 29 to March 3.
In the city of Xinzhou, for instance, destinations like the famed Laoniuwan, or Old Ox Bend, along the Yellow River, will have a 50 percent reduction in ticket price for all, with tourists in some age groups enjoying a total exemption.
In Datong, reputed attractions including Yungang Grottoes, Hengshan Mountain and Xuankong Temple will offer free entrance for students.
There will be rich forms of promotional activities across the province for tourists to enjoy the local cultures and natural attractions, as well as experiencing the local life.
In the city of Yuncheng, for example, there will be a bauhinia cultural festival.
In April and May, the vast spans of bauhinia flowers in full bloom constitute one of the most spectacular spring sights in the city.
While watching the flowers, tourists will be treated to vibrant forms of local culture like ancient architecture, wall paintings and Taoist healthcare practices. There will also be relaxation and sports activities like Yellow River wetland exploration and mountain climbing.
In the city of Jincheng, there will be a food festival featuring a rich array of dishes made from wheat flour.
Shanxi has recently released 60-plus touring routes for the whole year and about 30 routes are designed for tours in the current spring and the forthcoming summer. The list is targeted to offer convenience to tourists when they are making trip plans.
The province is pinning high hopes on tourism to drive local growth. To assist in tourism development, the provincial tourism authorities are also offering incentives for tourism operators to attract tourists.
The provincial department of culture and tourism has set aside a special fund to award outstanding travel companies in tourism promotion.