Across China: Yangtze River cruise tourist numbers hit 20-year high in 2023 -Xinhua

Across China: Yangtze River cruise tourist numbers hit 20-year high in 2023

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-19 21:36:00

An aerial photo taken on Oct. 8, 2023 shows boats sailing at a section of the Xiling Gorge along the Yangtze River in Zigui County, central China's Hubei Province. (Photo by Zheng Jiayu/Xinhua)

WUHAN, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The number of Yangtze River cruise passengers exceeded 1.37 million in 2023, marking a 26-percent growth from the 2019 figure and hitting a 20-year high, the China Yangtze Shipping Group Co., LTD. (CYSC) has announced recently.

The Yangtze River, China's mother river, is rich in tourism resources, with spectacular landscapes and numerous historic and cultural sites along the river. In particular, the Three Gorges area, boasting magnificent views of mountains and rivers, has attracted loads of tourists from home and abroad every year.

Riding the post-pandemic recovery of the tourism industry, the Yangtze River cruises have undergone a supply-side structural reform, diversifying and upgrading the tourism products they offer.

"With economic restructuring of the country and rising standard of consumption, supply-side structural reform is imperative to the high-quality development of the Yangtze River cruise tourism industry," said Chen Xilong, deputy general manager of Chongqing Changjiang Shipping Co., LTD., a subsidiary of the CYSC.

In order to enrich the Yangtze River tourism products, Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province, among other regions along the river, have been jointly building a national-level tourist scenic area in the Three Gorges area in past years.

Since 2023, a number of high-end cruise ships have been put into operation. Cities along the Yangtze River have launched new water buses and leisure ferries.

At the end of 2023, the CYSC incorporated Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei, into the former Yichang to Chongqing cruise line, thus stringing together several historical and cultural attractions as well as scenic spots along the river, including Wuhan's iconic Yellow Crane Tower, Yueyang Tower in Hunan Province, the Three Gorges areas, and the ancient town of Baidi in Chongqing.

As one of the high-end luxury river cruise ships in China, the Yangtze Three Cruise Ship, developed by the CYSC, will shuffle between the two cities of Wuhan and Chongqing, filling the blank of the cruise tourism market in cities along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

As the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches, the Yangtze Three Cruise Ship will set sail from Wuhan on Feb. 10, and start a holiday tour along the Yangtze, featuring a "cruise tour plus skiing" as the theme. It will take passengers from the city center of Wuhan all the way to the ski slopes in Shennongjia Forest District.

"People are getting enthusiastic about the Yangtze River tours," said Yang Zhigang, general manager of the marketing center with Chongqing Changjiang Shipping Co., LTD., adding that half the tickets for the Yangtze Three Cruise Ship during the Lunar New Year holiday have been sold out.

Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, expects China's domestic tourism and leisure market will enter a new stage of prosperity in 2024.

This photo taken on Nov. 30, 2023 shows a boat sailing on the Yangtze River in Wushan County, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)