Shooting locales of popular dramas become tourist hot spots

BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The popular Chinese web-series "The Longest Day in Chang'an" has attracted an increasing number of tourists to Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, its shooting locale, Monday's China Daily reported.

In the first week of this month, online enquiries about flight ticket bookings to Xi'an have increased by 130 percent year-on-year, the newspaper quoted Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency, as saying.

"The serial portrays the prosperity of the Tang dynasty (618-907) of Xi'an. This has made the city even more popular. The media exposure makes those sites compelling choices for vacations," said Shao Jihong, senior director of flight ticketing operations at Ctrip.

Places like Suzhou, Chongqing and Bayanbulak Grassland have also become go-to tourism destinations as films and TV dramas were set or shot there.

Destinations abroad such as Thailand, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Iceland have become tourist destinations among Chinese travelers, especially the younger, owing to films and TV dramas, Ctrip found.

"Young people are the main viewers of some popular shows. They pay attention to the beautiful scenery as highlighted in entertainment shows," Shao was quoted as saying.

Those born in the 1980s account for 32 percent of Chinese travelers. Those born in the 1990s and 2000s make up for 27 percent and 13 percent respectively, according to Ctrip.