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More Chinese tourist attractions reopen, maintain strict vigil amid COVID-19

By Huang Lanlan Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/11 21:01:11

West Lake (photo: courtesy of West Lake management committee)

Several tourist attractions in China further recovered after bearing the brunt of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis as visitors flow continue surging amid signs of the epidemic waning, industry insiders said.

The renowned West Lake in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, reopened its 16 paid attractions to the public on February 19. It saw 1,900 visitors that day, said Wang Xiaobin, a publicity staffer with the West Lake management committee.

At present, nearly 4,000 people visit the lake's paid attractions on workdays, double the number on its first reopening day, Wang told the Global Times Tuesday.

"The number of daily visitors on weekends can reach 6,000," he said.

Wugong Mountain scenic area in Pingxiang of East China's Jiangxi Province, a 5A-level (the top-level) national tourist attraction, was reportedly flooded with tourists over the first weekend after it reopened on February 20. 

Now, it has set a daily limit of 3,000 visitors to curb the risks of virus transmission catapulting with excessive crowds, said Yi Gaowen, the scenic area's publicity official.

The mountain's daily visitors reduced to some 1,000 this week because of the continuous rainy weather, Yi told the Global Times Wednesday. "But the number may surge after the weather improves," he added.

Yi said the scenic area would see an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 visitors per day on good-weather weekends if there were no cap on the number of visitors, roughly similar figures as the same period last year. "I'm confident about the future," he said.

Wugong Mountain (photo: courtesy of Yi Gaowen)

To date over 700 tourist attractions across China have reopened after a brief hiatus following the virus outbreak, CCTV reported Monday calling the resumptions "the first step toward the recovery" of China's tourism industry.

Nonetheless, many scenic areas continue to exercise caution during the ongoing epidemic control period and maintain strict measures to protect their tourists against the virus.

West Lake rejects tour groups with over 30 members to avoid gatherings. It also increased the frequency of disinfection, and the temperature of every visitor entering its paid attractions is screened, according to Wang.

Wugong Mountain bans tourists from sitting around the tables and ordering meals together. It offers separate lunch boxes to visitors instead, Yi said.

Visitors to this tourist spot must furnish details of their travel history and health status online before entry, he added.

The Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng County of southwestern Sichuan Province, which is hailed as "the last Shangri-La" by tourists globally, regulates its visitors to keep 1.5 meters distance from each other at local stores and hotels after it reopened on Sunday.

It also suggests nonlocal tourists get a health certificate, issued by hospitals before arriving, a hotline staffer of the scenic area said Wednesday.

In all the scenic spots that the Global Times reached out, it is compulsory for visitors to wear masks.

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