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Harbin Harnesses Ice, Snow for Tourism Growth

HARBIN, China, Jan. 15, 2021 /CNW/ -- The 33rd Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition recently kicked off in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Close to 100 sets of ice sculptures and a variety of entertaining facilities like ice slides offer visitors an unforgettable encounter with art and nature.Over the past several years, Harbin, also dubbed the ice city, has been harnessing its unique "freezing" resources for development and witnessed thriving growth of the ice and snow economy. Statistics showed that during the recent three-day New Year holiday, the city's 11 major tourist attractions received 530,000 tourist arrivals.A  Heilongjiang Province boasts a snow season as long as half a year. Thanks to its exceptional climate conditions, Harbin hosts many internationally acclaimed ice and snow events such as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival and the Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition. It also houses leading winter resorts like Yabuli Skiing Town, China Snow Town and Beiji (North Pole) Village. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival has emerged as one of the four global major ice and snow events. And the Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition is the largest and most widely participated ice sculpture expo in China.Internationally, it is generally believed that an economy is capable of supporting the development of ice and snow industry when its GDP per capita exceeds US$8,000. Ice and snow sports are thus considered "aristocratic games." China may lag behind developed countries in professional winter sports, but the country has long seen a solid fan base for ice and snow sports in Harbin. As the matrix of Chinese ice lantern art, snow sculpture and ice and snow culture, Harbin held the first ice lanterns celebration in China early in 1963. It hosted the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, the first of its kind in China, in 1985.
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