Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has recently opened its annual peach blossom tourism festival in the city of Nyingchi. However, this year's festival sees much fewer tourists in the light pink sea.
Affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the city of Nyingchi debuts its beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains and peach blossoms through 5G livestreaming on major Chinese online livestreaming platforms to attract flower lovers across the country.
Besides a dozen cameras installed across the scenic spot broadcasting the breathtaking views around-the-clock, the city also arranges tourism ambassadors, tour guides and livestreamers to show tourists or introduce online viewers to the scenic area, local history and culture.
"The flowers took my mind to the sacred land. I will visit Nyingchi someday after the outbreak," said Zhang Ruiying, a citizen in east China's Zhejiang Province, after watching several live broadcasts of the peach blossom festival.
The online views of such livestreaming have hit tens of millions as of March 28.
Started from 2002, the festival has become a highlight of the plateau city every year. The flower festival creates a tourism peak season and drives the development of local commerce and trade, hotels, transportation, agriculture and the food processing industry.
In 2019, the city received more than 8.6 million tourists, with an increase of 20 percent from 2018.
Peach blossoms have also significantly changed local residents' lives.
So far, there are about 640 family homestays in Nyingchi, with over 6,800 locals engaging in the business, while their per capita incomes have increased by 8,000 yuan (1,128 about U.S. dollars) per year.
Although domestic tourists have halted from Nyingchi due to the epidemic, 5G livestreaming has brought new opportunities to the city.
Days ago, the city's tourism department launched a homestay promotion activity on its Weibo account to stimulate post-epidemic tourism, and they have received 1,500 bookings, with a total value of more than 1 million yuan.
Zhal Daje, who runs a homestay in Norpu Village, Lunang Town, said that, although the local tourism has not gotten back on track, he's confident about the future.
Apart from tourism, livestreaming now covers a wider range of fields.
"We've sold over 2,000 bags of yak milk tablet and wild peach pie in five days. The livestreaming opens a new window for us. We plan to sell more local specialties such as yak meat, tea, tricholoma matsutake and saffron crocus," said Qin Lei, from a local tourism company.
Meanwhile, Nyingchi has organized training for local homestays owners and plans to invest 10 million yuan to help them renovate their toilets and bathrooms, improve sanitation and services.
"Peach flowers are a driving force for Nyingchi's economic development. We are making full preparations for more guests from across the world after the end of the outbreak," said Dainzin Samzhub, an official of Nyingchi's tourism development bureau.