Chongqing hot pot and Shaxian delicacies drive China’s tourism boom


As the eight-day Spring Festival holiday unfolded across China, bustling scenes of packed restaurants, crowded scenic spots, and the laughter of tourists enjoying new experiences were witnessed, particularly in hotspots like Chongqing Municipality and Shaxian county in Fujian Province. This tourism boom, accompanied by thriving consumption, not only injected vitality into local economies but also accelerated the recovery of China’s economy in the Year of the Dragon.

In Chongqing, hotpot restaurants were inundated with customers, with long queues forming even during the holidays. The renowned Hongyadong area saw a constant stream of tourists vying for the best photo spots. Similarly, Quanzhou city in Fujian witnessed a surge in cultural tourism, while Shaxian county attracted visitors eager to savor its famous delicacies.

Originating from Shaxian county, Fujian, Shaxian delicacies have become immensely popular nationwide since the 1980s. Dubbed as the “Chinese McDonald’s,” these affordable and flavorsome dishes, such as peanut butter noodles and wontons, have spawned a vast network of eateries across China. This culinary phenomenon has not only boosted tourism to Shaxian county but also propelled its industrial development, with over 88,000 Shaxian eateries contributing to the local economy.

The surge in tourism during the Spring Festival holidays bodes well for China’s economic development in 2024. Consumption during this period is expected to play a crucial role in driving economic growth throughout the year. Chongqing and Shaxian county have capitalized on this momentum by ramping up efforts to advance their respective industrial sectors, thereby enhancing their attractiveness to domestic and international travelers.

In Shaxian county, the expansion of the delicacies industry has led to industrial integration and development. More than just restaurants, this sector has spurred growth in food processing, ingredient planting, and related industries, with the industrial output exceeding $1.4 billion in 2022. Meanwhile, the Chongqing government has released guidelines to promote the high-quality development of the local hotpot industry, aiming for an industrial output value of $78 billion by 2027.

Local authorities have provided professional guidance and financial support to enterprises and practitioners involved in the tourism and culinary sectors. This support includes measures to enhance infrastructure, promote innovation, and ensure the sustainable development of these industries.

The thriving tourism and culinary scenes in Chongqing and Shaxian county reflect China’s dynamic economy and rich cultural heritage. As these regions continue to attract visitors from near and far, their industrial development will play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and promoting cultural exchange. With government support and a commitment to quality and innovation, Chongqing hotpot and Shaxian delicacies are poised to remain iconic symbols of China’s culinary prowess and economic vitality.


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