Rural Spring Festival tourism booms in Shandong

(| Updated : 2024-02-27

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Tourists enjoy a dragon dance performance in Qingzhou ancient town in Weifang, Shandong province. [Photo/WeChat account: sdswltwx]

During the 2024 Spring Festival holiday, a new trend emerged in Shandong province: city dwellers were more willing to celebrate the New Year in the countryside. Serving as the cornerstone of Shandong's traditional festive culture, rural counties have become a major attraction, driving more interaction between urban and rural tourism markets.

The 28 rural tourism sites monitored during the Spring Festival in Shandong collectively received 2.32 million visitors, generating 143.78 million yuan ($19 million) in revenue, with ticket sales amounting to 23.45 million yuan ($3.25 million). These were considerable increases of 58.6 percent, 153.4 percent, and 105.3 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

This rural tourism boom in Shandong was the result of meticulous planning and strategic foresight. On Jan 18, the 2024 Shandong Rural Culture and Tourism Festival kicked off simultaneously in 16 cities in Shandong, launching a nearly two-month rural cultural feast that reached its zenith during the Spring Festival holiday. Rural customs filled with festive charm, traditional temple fairs, cultural bazaars, and intangible cultural heritage performances conjured up a sense of nostalgia, while time-honored brands, handcrafted items, and unique agricultural products made visitors want to spend money.

What's the secret to attracting urban crowds ahead towards rural areas? Firstly, there's the meticulous organization and coordination of activities across the province, leveraging distinctive rural New Year elements such as customs, traditional dwellings, and rustic farm-style dishes that differ from urban festivities.

Moreover, during the 2024 Shandong Rural Culture and Tourism Festival, a diverse range of rural custom tours, intangible heritage experience tours, and ancient town tours were provided across the province, ensuring visitors had ample attractions to choose from, transforming the allure of festive culture into a tourism and consumption boon.

Furthermore, over 73 percent of China's intangible cultural heritage items are located in traditional rural areas, making them important for historical preservation. Many handmade items related to the Spring Festival evoke people's nostalgia and encourage them to spend money.