BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Dubbed as China's ice city, Harbin has seen its annual ice and snow festival kick off recently.
Harbin, capital city in China's northernmost Heilongjiang Province, is located in the center of Northeast Asia. Serving as an important hub of the first Eurasian land bridge and air corridor, it has played an essential role in the cooperation between China and Russia.
Li Long, director of the management office of the Central Street in downtown Harbin, said that 43 ice and snow sculptures have been built in the Central Street for the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival this year, attracting numerous pedestrians to experience the vitality and joy brought by ice and snow.
During the ice and snow festival, people can enjoy themselves not only at the 33rd Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition, but also in the Harbin Ice-Snow World, a renowned seasonal theme park opening every winter.
Just before the one-year countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, Harbin has taken this opportunity to turn its ice and snow resources into an advantageous industry.
Statistics showed that in the first three days of 2021, the 11 tourist attractions monitored by Harbin have received more than 530,000 tourists.
According to a report released at the 2021 China Ice and Snow Tourism Development Forum by the China Tourism Academy, China's ice and snow leisure tourism is expected to witness 230 million visits from 2020 to 2021 and its revenue is projected to surpass 390 billion yuan.
Wang Zhaoli, Party secretary of Harbin, noted that the ice city will tap the potential of ice and snow resources, conduct extensive exchanges and cooperation, promote the high-quality development of ice and snow economy, and strive to build a world-renowned ice and snow tourism destination in the following five years. (Edited by Zhang Yuan with Xinhua Silk Road email@example.com)