Beijing 2022 legacy echoes in northeast China's Changbai Mountains

(Xinhua) 14:15, January 01, 2023

CHANGCHUN, China, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Olympic Winter Games has concluded for nearly one year, but its legacy still lives on in China.

As northeast China's Jilin Province has entered its coldest period of the year, a large number of tourists are flooding to the Changbai Mountains, thanks to the rising enthusiasm for winter sports brought by the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Skiers and snowboarders of all ages can be seen on the tracks, along with many waiting in line to take the lift at a ski resort in the Changbai Mountains.

"Despite the epidemic, we still receive three to four thousand skiers every day," said Wang Hongli, an operations manager at the resort in Fusong County of Baishan City.

20 kilometers from there is another resort that has been welcoming overseas group tours since this winter season.

A skier enjoys the sport at Miaoxiang Mountain Ski Resort in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Nov. 11, 2022. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

"The ski resorts in the Changbai Mountains are more beginner-friendly than those in Europe," explained French Tang Sinian, who already settles down in China's eastern city Suzhou and has visited the resort for three consecutive years.

"The Chinese team did very well at the Beijing Winter Olympics this year. With the winter season coming, I feel more Chinese people are willing to learn skiing."

The soaring interest for winter sports fueled by Beijing 2022 has generated a growth in businesses beyond sport as well. For example, many photography studios have come to the ski resorts to provide filming and photography services.

Long Jie, who has run a photo studio in Beijing for 10 years, is very busy with his team these days. "We take up to 12 sets of photos from day to night."

People are coming to the wintry regions for winter sports and more. The Beijing Winter Olympics has allowed them to take a fresh look at what has been around.

"It's hard for people from the northeast to even think of rafting in the frosty days," said skiing fan Cai Linlin from Changchun. "I didn't expect this trip to offer so many entertaining activities on top of skiing."

Yu Shufen prepares a meal for guests at her restaurant near the Beidahu Ski Resort in Jilin City, northeast China's Jilin Province, Nov. 21, 2022. (Xinhua/Yan Linyun)

A huge market for winter leisure and vacation has also boosted tourism in remote areas.

Located between two major ski resorts in the mountains, Jinjiang Village of Fusong County is often marked as a tourist destination. Dubbed "the last wooden-house village in Changbai mountains", the village offers more winter sports-related recreational events for tourists this year. Meanwhile, more villages are attracting visitors with local specialties like mixed meat stew, ginseng tonic and hot springs, adding more flavors to the icy winters.

"The more skiers, the more customers we'll have in the village. Younger villagers that have left for bigger cities choose to come back. I believe our businesses will get better and better," said Meng Xianfang, owner of a restaurant in Guosong Village of Donggang Township.

(Web editor: Cai Hairuo, Hongyu)


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