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62,200 People Visit Popular Lake In China In One Day

62,200 People Visit Popular Lake In China In One Day

It comes as the country starts to relax its social distancing measures

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

More than 60,000 people visited a popular lake in China as part of an annual festival over the weekend.

Photographs have been shared showing thousands of tourists piling into West Lake, a 10,000-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in East China on Sunday (5 April).

The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, marks the first public holiday since the coronavirus outbreak swept the country.

More than 60,000 tourists visited West Lake on Sunday (5 April).

And as part of an initiative to get people back outside, 165,000 free tickets were offered to visitors to the park.

But while park staff say the numbers were down on previous years, some 62,200 people still packed in to visit the lake, known in Chinese as 'Xihu', on Sunday alone.

As well as the lake, the site also includes 16 other attractions which, over the course of the entire weekend, saw 760,000 people pass through the gates - almost the same number of people who visited last year (2019) in a single day in October (759,300).

West Lake gave out 165,000 free tickets in a bid to boost tourism.

Speaking about the festival, Fang Guoxing, director of the park's management committee, said they focused on online tickets this year, which helped reduce congestion and allowed visitors to undergo health screenings before entering the grounds.

The park will now use the AI and big data analysis taken from the weekend to inform their approach to the upcoming Labour Day break on 1 May.

Similar images emerged yesterday (6 April) of 20,000 tourists piling into a national park after ticket fees were waived.

It comes as some provinces in China start to relax their social distancing measures.

Huangshan National Park in China's eastern province of Anhui closed its doors on 25 January as the coronavirus epidemic surged in China.

Less than a month later, on 21 February the park began welcoming visitors again - but slashed the number of people allowed in by reducing its usual 50,000-visitor capacity to 20,000.

However, recently the 190 RMB (£21) entrance fee usually charged for the Huangshan scenic area - also called the Yellow Mountains - was waived for Anhui residents, in a bid to boost the tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.

Park officials say visitor numbers were still down significantly from last year.

But both gates eventually had to close after visitor numbers peaked at 20,000, with droves of tourists also clogging up pathways inside the mountainous tourist site.

It comes after provinces in China started to relax their social distancing measures in a bid to help restart the economy after the lockdown.

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Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire

Topics: World News, Interesting, Coronavirus, China, Health