Slideshow about ice sculpture & ice art in China
China's northern "ice city" of Harbin has built its tourism sector into a 10-billion-U.S. dollar-level industry, with its renown as one of the country's top winter destinations continuing to draw in huge numbers of visitors. As the capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Harbin has been making good use of its ecological resources including ice and snow, and forests and wetlands, in an effort to build itself into a top-notch, all-season tourist location, while also being a popular international tourist attraction in winter.
Tourism became Harbin's second 10-billion-U.S. dollar-level industry in 2016. The city received more than 77.12 million tourists in 2017 and made a total revenue of over 117 billion yuan (around 17 billion U.S dollars).
It has gained international attention for its increasingly popular winter extravaganza, the International Ice and Snow Festival, which features elaborate ice sculptures, competitions and a plethora of winter sports.
Every winter, visitors from home and overseas flock to Harbin, increasing consumption, creating jobs and greatly stimulating the local economy.
Diverse winter activities have been appearing since Harbin held its first ice lantern fair in 1963, with the first ice and snow festival following in 1985.
The Harbin Ice and Snow World, a theme park with snow sceneries and magnificent ice sculptures, was built by the local government in 1999 to welcome in the new millennium.
Covering an area of 800,000 square meters, the park has helped advance ice and snow art in China into a major stage which features elaborate modern designs and mechanization, and continues to impress visitors from all around the world.