Wuhan, the Chinese city most closely associated with the outbreak of Covid-19, has launched a new promotional video as part of attempts to attract travelers to experience its beauty.
The video’s title translates to “Let’s Meet in Wuhan.” Posted on the Wuhan Culture and Tourism Bureau’s social media site, it highlights the best of the city, from its surreal floating forest in the Zhangdu Lake Wetland to the lit-up historical Yellow Crane Tower, along with Wuhan locals eating noodles.
It was originally posted on Visit Wuhan’s Weibo platform in Chinese on November 13 then later shared on Facebook in English with a similar message.
“Wuhan never hesitates to show its beauty, and those who love it deeply hope that more people can understand it,” says the Facebook post.
“From the myriad twinkling lights along the Yangtze River and the amazing dance and music from the Zhiyin cruise, to the glittering light and beautiful voices from the livehouse……give me five! Everyone! Looking forward to meeting you in Wuhan.”
As the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan implemented a 76-day locked down from January 23 to April 8. More than 50,000 Covid-19 infections and over 3,800 deaths were reported.
Not only did the lockdown slow infection rates significantly – the city hasn’t reported a local case since May – but it surprisingly boosted the city’s appeal.
According to a joint study carried out in April by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Tourism Research Center and Tencent Culture and Tourism Industry Research Center, Wuhan was the no.1 destination Chinese citizens wanted to visit after the crisis subsided.
Many Chinese netizens praised the people of Wuhan for their perseverance and industriousness during the lockdown.
Alluring or too much sugarcoating?
Some users on Chinese social media platform Weibo commented that the video was beautifully shot and showed the different facets of the city.
“I have goosebumps. The beauty of Wuhan has been showcased perfectly. I love Wuhan,” says one Wuhan-based Weibo user.
Another agreed with the choices of filming locations – and said that it includes some off-the-beaten-path tips.
“I see Tongxing Lane (in the video). It’s the most beautiful alley in Wuhan,” says the most liked comment (currently) on the video.
“Many travelers and locals didn’t know about it – they only knew the Li Huangpi Road District but didn’t know that there are Tongxing Lane and Taixing Lane just a stone’s throw away. The two connected alleys have some unique art and culture shops and cafes.”
However, many thought the video was just too glossy and not a true representation of Wuhan.
“The video would fit into any city with a river. The theme and the highlights aren’t standing out,” says one user.
“It is not realistic,” another says. “Would your grandpa dress so neatly to eat (signature Wuhan dish) hot dry noodles?”
This isn’t Wuhan’s first attempt to boost its tourism industry since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Since August, the city introduced a series of campaigns targeting domestic travelers, offering free entry to major attractions and night tours to Wuhan’s Yellow Crane Tower during the golden week holiday.