Wuhan has seen a surge in tourism after free tickets were offered to draw in the crowds – as shown in a video from a bustling amusement park.
The local government in Hubei province, China, made tourist attractions free to encourage visitors and thank the rest of the country for their support during the coronavirus outbreak.
In the clip, shot at the Wuhan Polar Ocean Park, tourists queue up close together and, although everyone wears face masks, there is no social distancing happening.
A crowd of what looks like more than 100 tourists climb the stairs in a tightly-packed group.
In another clip, a woman has removed her face mask to talk to a pal on the phone and a man has taken his off to smoke a cigarette.
When Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, was locked down, people from all around the country made financial donations and thousands of medics also went to the region to help tackle the pandemic.
And now that the pandemic has passed, the regional government have opened up dozens of their five-star tourism destinations for free to visitors, with many other tourism-related activities from hotels through to travel agencies also offering free activities or substantial discounts.
But the offer led to a flood of people into the region, although the park insisted all the legal social distancing limits were adhered to.
The Wuhan Polar Ocean Park is one of the region’s largest five-star tourist attractions offering exhibits focused around the Arctic and the ocean.
It mainly gets visits from families with children and offers the chance to see animals including penguins, polar bears and beluga whales – as well as performances by trained dolphins and walruses.
The park is famous for its underwater tunnels made of transparent glass that offer panoramic views as people walk along the base of the aquariums, and after offering free tickets, had to post a notice warning people to book in advance when it became clear they had already reached their quota earlier in the day.
Many locals noted that it was the first time they could recall seeing the car park completely full.
The park wrote on China social media platform Weibo: “Due to the high emotions and enthusiasm of tourists participating in the activity, the reservations for Wuhan Haichang Polar Ocean Park on August 8 sold out by 1 pm and reservations are no longer available today.
“In order to provide you with a better service and experience, and at the same time to ensure that your travel plans go smoothly, please make an appointment in advance and travel off-peak.”
The traffic police also issued warnings advising people who turned up to go to other attractions.
Free tickets offer to boost local tourism is expected to last until the end of the year, and is part of the Hubei Provincial Government project entitled “Traveling with Love and Benefiting Hubei” to revitalise the economy and thank those from other regions that supported the area during the pandemic.
Source Daily Star – World News