During this year's May Day holiday, the northwestern province of Qinghai experienced a tourism boom, despite the hangover from the COVID-19 outbreak.
The province recorded more than 2.46 million visits during the break, a rise of 101 percent from the same period last year, generating income of more than 1 billion yuan ($156 million), according to the Qinghai Provincial Culture and Tourism Bureau.
Eco-friendly tourism activities, such as wild exploration routes and animal-watching tours, were the most popular options.
In recent years, Qinghai has made great efforts in environmental protection. It has built many nature reserves, forest parks, wetland parks and geoparks, which have boosted the eco-friendly tourist services provided by the province.
Qinghai has more than 100 different travel routes related to themes such as healthcare, culture, natural scenery, wildlife tours and even biological study.
Visitors can also experience a range of local cuisine based on vegetables and meat dishes at family farms.
Statistics from the provincial tourism bureau show that Qinghai launched 2,860 cultural and tourist projects between 2016 and last year, involving total investment of more than 103 billion yuan.
The province is home to three national ecotourism demonstration zones, 113 cultural industry demonstration areas and more than 200 handicraft workshops.
"The sources of China's three most important rivers－the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang－are all located in Qinghai, and this has earned the province the nickname 'China's water tower'," Xin Changxing, the provincial governor, said at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Qinghai Culture and Tourism Festival on May 19.
In addition to the natural scenery and landscapes, Xin said Qinghai is a great place with a diverse history and culture.
"We will use our advantages and promote eco-friendly, culture-related tourism to build Qinghai into a well-known travel destination both at home and abroad," he said.