Data shows 270% increase in search popularity for Xinjiang’s Kashi after city debuts as Spring Festival Gala branch venue

Spring Festival Gala

Data from a Chinese tourism platform showed a 270-percent increase in search popularity for Kashi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, after the city debuted as a branch venue for the Spring Festival Gala, according to local media on Sunday.

The ancient city of Kashi – a sub-venue of 2024 China Central Television (CCTV) Spring Festival Gala, also known as chunwan – opened to visitors on Saturday. The Spring Festival Gala was aired on state-owned broadcaster China Central TV from the evening of the Chinese New Year’s Eve (Friday) to the wee hours of the Spring Festival (Saturday).

The Kashi sub-venue of the gala is situated next to the ancient city. Twelve dreamlike buildings with intersecting roofs float in the air, illuminated by dazzling lights, creating a magnificent stage that transports people into a fantasy world. 

Travel data from the Trip.com shows that Xi’an, Kashi, Changsha and Shenyang, which were all sub-venues of the gala, saw a sharp rise in travel search popularity. Among them, Kashi’s search popularity rose 270 percent, only second to Xi’an’s 294 percent.

The Global Times on Monday learned that data from other travel platforms — Qunar.com and Trip.com — showed the same trend on Saturday. The four sub-venue locations have attracted netizens’ attention and search popularity increased by more than 50 percent than the previous day.

According to data from Qunar, from the first day of the Chinese New Year to the third day, the number of bookings of air tickets to Kashi increased more than twofold over 2023 levels, with the average payment price reaching 835 yuan. On the second day of the Chinese New Year alone, the number of reservations for hotels in Kashi on Qunar platform increased by 1.13 fold year-on-year in 2023.

The beauty of Xinjiang once again captivated the Chinese people after an eight-minute singing and dancing show staged at the Xinjiang Kashi sub-venue of 2024 CCTV Spring Festival Gala. The performance unfolded through a diverse and colorful ethnic style, presenting a thriving and prosperous snapshot of Xinjiang to the audience. 

Many netizens said they have become fans of Kashi and other cities in Xinjiang. A netizen said “The scenes at Kashi’s sub-venue of Spring Festival Gala really impressed me and I want to travel there!”

Besides, as Chinese Uygur actress Dilraba dazzled in a red dress at the Kashi branch venue of the gala, the dress has become a highly sought-after item, with many tourists booking an online visit to the old city of Kashi in search of the dress.

There are about more than 50 shops in the ancient city of Kashi to provide travel services and ethnic-style clothing rental, local media outlet Ts.cn reported on Monday.

“I want to take a set of photos in ethnic-style costume as a Chinese New Year gift for myself,” a local resident who returned to her hometown in Kashi for the Spring Festival, told the Global Times.

Ts.cn reported that as a key area of Xinjiang tourism, Kashi saw its tourism on the rise in recent years. In 2023, the city received more than 33.22 million tourists and achieved tourism income of more than 27.3 billion yuan ($3.79 billion). The goal of Kashi tourism this year is forecast to receive 38 million tourists and generate a tourism income of 33 billion yuan.  

peoplesdaily

By jjavaid