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ROK people flocking Zhangjiajie? China ready for more foreign visitors!

Updated: Mar 21, 2024 By Liu Jianna Print
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Clouds in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area of Zhangjiajie in Hunan province evoke scenes from the Hollywood movie Avatar, which based its scenes of floating mountains on this area. [Photo provided to]

Tourists from overseas are flocking the picturesque landscape of Zhangjiajie, a mountainous gem in Hunan province celebrated for its unique quartzite sandstone formations, with a remarkable 43 percent arriving from the Republic of Korea in January and February alone.

China has a vast array of vibrant destinations, so what draws the ROK travelers to Zhangjiajie? It seems there are several compelling factors. First, people of the ROK love hiking. Therefore, with its awe-inspiring and unparalleled peaks, Zhangjiajie effortlessly captivates the hearts of people from the ROK and other places alike. Moreover, Zhangjiajie's strategic promotion efforts in both the ROK and China cannot be overstated. There is a popular saying in the ROK that links filial piety with visiting Zhangjiajie. Additionally, Zhangjiajie's proactive measures, such as signage in the Korean language, restaurants, and guides speaking Korean, coupled with affordable direct flights from ROK cities, enhance its appeal. Also, the resort features in several popular Korean variety shows, making it more alluring for the people of ROK.

Zhangjiajie's increasing popularity is a valuable lesson for other Chinese tourist destinations. As China embraces tourism in a big way with COVID-19 restrictions being eased since 2023, it's crucial for authorities to employ strategic initiatives to attract foreign visitors. While challenges such as app accessibility and cultural nuances exist, concerted efforts are underway to address these issues. Simplified payment services and innovative language translation programs, such as AliPay's recent launch facilitating seamless interactions and transactions, help tourists have a comfortable time in China.

Despite China's rich history, diverse landscapes spanning millennia and excellent social order where one need not worry about security, theft and robbery, unlike in some other countries, misconceptions perpetuated by some Western media outlets have hindered its appeal as a travel destination. However, experiencing China firsthand dispels stereotypes and fosters genuine appreciation. It's our hope that more foreigners will set aside preconceived notions and embark on journeys to discover China's cultural treasures and natural wonders.

The author is a writer with China Daily

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