Popular TV show sends hordes of tourists Dali’s way

Dali-ciously inviting: People posing for photos in Dali town, a township-level division in Dali City, in Yunnan province. — AFP

DALI: The appeal of country life and finding inner peace in a quiet, ancient town close to grasslands and lakes, far from vehicles and laptops, drew large numbers of tourists to Yunnan province’s Dali Bai autonomous prefecture during this year’s Spring Festival.

This romantic life in Dali was recently vividly depicted in the popular television soap opera Meet Yourself, in which the heroine, an urban white-collar worker quits her job and moves to a bed-and-breakfast in a small town in the prefecture following the death of her best friend, where during the course of many ups and downs, she regains the courage to live and falls in love with an entrepreneur.

Scoring 8.3 out of 10 on the review aggregator Douban, the places the show’s main character visits and the things she experiences have attracted hordes of tourists to localities where scenes were shot.A week after the show was first screened in early January, searches for Dali doubled on online travel agency Fliggy and those for Shaxi ancient town, where many of the scenes were shot, surged 10-fold, while associated keywords became top searches on Sina Weibo on multiple occasions.

One tourist from Zhuhai in Guangdong province, told Yunnan Daily that she had come to visit the location of the house where the main character lives in Fengyangyi village, saying she wanted to “experience the slow life in Dali”.

Mi Dou, who drove from Chengdu in neighbouring Sichuan province, told Chengdu.cn that she waited in line for an hour to visit the house. She also said that although she didn’t know its precise location, she hoped to visit the tree under which the main character famously cries.

Dali, a region famous for the Cangshan Mountain, Erhai Lake and its Bai ethnic culture, received some 4.23 million tourist visits during the Lunar New Year holiday, up 219% year-on-year, with tourism revenue growing 162% .

The boom resulted from changes to Covid-19 prevention and control policies that permitted people to rush out to rediscover the long-lost excitement of travelling after three years. — China Daily/ANN

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