Most major scenic spots reopen in Zhejiang
People visit the West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Though some scenic areas have reopened, they are limiting the number of visitors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. [Photo by Zheng Mengyu/Xinhua]
The Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism of Zhejiang has been making efforts to help local scenic spots reopen, after the province downgraded the epidemic emergency response level from one to two on March 2.
Two weeks ago, the province led China in publishing 60 guidelines on the orderly reopening of scenic spots, involving overall management, sightseeing organization, public health, shopping, entertainment, dining, and accommodation.
Major scenic spots with low risks of infection started to reopen on Feb 18. As of March 2, 557 A-rated scenic spots have reopened, accounting for 70 percent of the province’s total.
Qianfoshan (literally Thousand Buddha Mountain) Scenic Area in Suichang county, Lishui, was one of the first to reopen.
According to a manager of the scenic area, detailed plans were made before the reopening. Areas are disinfected twice a day, and staff and tourists are required to wear face masks, possess green health codes, have their temperatures taken, and wash their hands.
Chu Ziyu, director of the provincial department of culture and tourism, said epidemic control is still the top priority despite the reopening of scenic areas, and that the department will continue to strengthen management and guidance throughout the process.
In addition, several star-rated restaurants and hotels, such as the Hilton and Shangri-La in Hangzhou, recently began offering takeout services.
"We are doing this to help our business and contribute to epidemic control efforts, as our takeout food is both high-quality and cheap," said Shen Qin, deputy general manager of Wanghu Hotel, a four-star hotel near the West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou.
A recent survey showed that Zhejiang received around 1.65 million tourists during the Spring Festival holiday and generated 2.42 billion yuan ($347.97 million) in tourism revenue, down 93.2 percent and 89.6 percent year-on-year, respectively.
A recent questionnaire also showed that 1,541 major cultural and tourism industries in the province expected 7.72 billion yuan in total direct losses as of March 4.
Several scenic spots and hotels have even started to offer free admission and services to medics fighting on the frontlines.
More than 500 A-rated scenic spots throughout the province have announced that they will offer free admission to all medics in China throughout the course of 2020. Scenic spots in Lishui are also free to the families of medics.
On March 1, 56 medics who went to the ICU to fight the epidemic in Zhejiang went on a free 14-day vacation, staying at a hotel in Anji county, Huzhou.
The hotel made all necessary arrangements for them and provided them with free books, food, and exercise activities.
"We are doing this to thank them for their hard work. We hope they will enjoy their time here," said Luo Fudi, deputy director of the cultural and tourism department of Anji.
According to Luo, 20 scenic areas are free to medics this year, as are 344 homestay inns offering 2,257 beds.