Beach sports and port jelly
Xiangshan county in Ningbo,Zhejiang province, is seeking to develop its marine tourism targeted at young customers.
Perched on the East China Sea,with a coastline of more than 900 kilometers and home to 505 islands,Xiangshan is not only a fishing destination but also a place for water sports and activities such as sailing,yachting and diving.
To attract more young visitors, an event called "youth and sea" was launched by local authorities this year. Fifty-five online and offline activities related to science and technology, arts, sports and the environment are being held in the county as a result.
The Xiangshan Asian Games Sailing Center and the Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Center - venues for the 2022 Asian Games that were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou,Zhejiang, from Sept 10 to 25, but were deferred until next year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic -are located in Xiangshan and provide a broad platform for the development of marine sports activities.
"Along the coastline, Xiangshan has been building several marine sports areas and each area is developing in its distinct way," said Zheng Yi, deputy director of Xiangshan county bureau of culture, radio, television, tourism and sports.
Many competitions are being organized in the Songlan Mountain area, which is home to the Asian Games Sailing Center and serves as the training base for provincial sailing and windsurfing. A marine culture-themed water park has been built in the Damu Bay area there;sailing and yachting are available for visitors in the Dongdan area;and the Banbianshan area is building itself into a resort hub by integrating sightseeing, sports and lodging.
Although the Asian Games were not held this year, the sailing and the beach volleyball venues in Xiangshan have been opened to the public.From July to August, youth sailing summer camps were held, during which students learned sailing dinghies, and played beach volleyball and beach football.
A seaside basketball court at the sailing center held a related sports event during the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday in September,as part of the "youth and sea" program. A series of activities, such as basketball games, music gigs, night markets and sailing exhibitions,were also organized.
Shi Jingbo, an official of the Xiangshan county's Asian Games Office,said the activities featuring elements of fashion and sports will also motivate Xiangshan's night economy.
At Shipu Port, an old fishing port in Xiangshan, a moon-gazing activity was organized by Xiangshan Tourism Group and NetEase Cloud Music, an online music streaming service of Chinese internet company NetEase, on Sept 10.The event presented a distinct visual and cultural experience for visitors by integrating popular internet culture, new technologies and ancient fishing culture. The sail on a fishing boat was used as a screen, on which a bright full moon was projected. And, the most popular comments themed on regrets that users had posted on NetEase Cloud Music were also projected on the "full moon". The fishing boat sailed to the sea with music, signaling that all regrets had gone away.
As the outdoor reality show Go for Happiness topped weekly popularity ranking for Chinese reality shows on Douban, a major review site for movies and TV shows, this summer, Xiangshan, where the show was shot, also got widespread attention. In the show, six singers who were contestants of Super Boy 2007, a Chinese singing contest, traveled to Xiangshan,learned about the fishing culture and tasted the local food.
"It isn't a music show but they keep playing music throughout the show; it isn't a camping show but it has triggered my desire to travel," a netizen writes in a comment about the reality show.
"The popularity of this show reflects young people's interest in gaining new travel experiences,"Zhao Hao, the reality show's director, said, adding that in tune with the idea of the "youth and sea" program in Xiangshan, the show has tried to share the local scenery and food with viewers, especially young people.
In addition to music and TV show,Xiangshan is also promoting its fishing culture among the youth through mobile games.
The Xiangshan Tourism Group cooperated with A Dream of Jianghu, a mobile game published by NetEase, to launch a series of online activities in September when an annual fishing festival was held to mark the start of a new fishing season following a three-and-a-half-month fishing moratorium.
From Sept 2 to 22, game players get to experience fishing at sea at the Fishermen's Wharf in the game. The wharf is a reproduction of the real fishing port in Xiangshan that enables players to also learn about the fishing community's life and culture.
During the in-game fishing, players catch flatfish and mackerel. And in the fishing activity offline, they can earn a specialty of Shipu town,called "herbal jelly". Then the players can redeem the item for new outfits and coupons on the in-game Yushan Island, also a real island in Xiangshan. With the seafood coupon, players can buy a box of seafood at a favorable price at an e-commerce platform. The box contains fresh fish caught by Xiangshan's fishers.
During this activity in September,an offline pop-up tea shop named A Dream of Jianghu also opened at Shipu Port, offering the local jelly to visitors.