CHINA / SOCIETY
Wuhan on fast track to recover in catering, tourism and employment
Published: Apr 07, 2021 09:28 PM
A Wuhan food street is thronged with visitors during the Qingming Festival holidays on Sunday. Photos: VCG

A Wuhan food street is thronged with visitors during the Qingming Festival holidays on Sunday. Photos: VCG



 One year after the lockdown was lifted, Wuhan's economy is on the fast track of recovery with crowds lining up at food streets, more tourists coming from other provinces and cities, and the number of jobs greatly surging. 

Asking Wuhan people which sector in the city has witnessed the most changes one year after the lockdown was lifted on April 8, 2020, many pointed to snack stalls. 

A seafood restaurant owner surnamed Zhou whose restaurant was under renovation in Jiqing Street, a popular nighttime food street with snack bars, night clubs and barbecue restaurants, told the Global Times on Wednesday that his business now is even better than in the days before the epidemic, so much so that he bought a neighboring store to expand his business. 

"In the past three-day Qingming Festival, some restaurants in the street had to close early as all the food was sold out before their usual closing time," Zhou said. "A sharp contrast from last April, when I had no customers for days, literally not a single customer visited my seafood restaurant." 

For some snack stall owners, too many customers also brought them "sweet trouble."

Wang Kai, manager of the Sijimei Tangbao in Jiqing Street, told the Global Times that he has trouble hiring more people as his store has seen crowds lining up from morning until night during the Qingming Festival holidays. 

"As long as it doesn't rain, the upcoming May Day holidays, the first golden holidays this year, will definitely witness more customers," Wang said. 

As the first  festive season after the Spring Festival, during which time people were advised not to travel, the Qingming Festival which ended on Monday witnessed a travel blowout in Wuhan as well as in Hubei Province, whose capital city is Wuhan.

According to the website of the Hubei provincial department of culture and tourism, Hubei received 11.7 million tourists during the three-day Qingming Festival holidays, which was about 60 percent of the total during the 2019 Qingming Festival.

According to several Chinese online travel platforms, Wuhan was a top-10 tourist destination during the festival.

"Last Qingming Festival, I drove the taxi to send families who lost their loved ones to cemeteries or to pick up their ashes, but this Qingming Festival, I picked up tourists from across China to enjoy the thriving city," Ye Yajun, a taxi driver, told the Global Times.

The striking contrast between last and this year's Qingming Festival shows our government has done a huge contribution and hard work in recovering the city, which we are sincerely grateful for and proud of, Ye said.

He volunteered to ship necessities for locals under home quarantine and shuttle old patients from residential community in Jianghan district to buy their medicine since January 26, 2020, the second day of the Spring Festival.

"In recent months, it has been very easy for me to earn 500 or 600 yuan every day but it was very hard to make 300 or 400 yuan in the days when the city just lifted its lockdown," Ye said, noting that his income every month recently has basically returned to the level before the epidemic.

Spring is also an employment season, when several universities in Wuhan invite companies for career talks. And this year, more in-person career talks were organized. 

Wuhan University has organized around 50 such career talks in one week, and a securities company's career talk on Tuesday night attracted around 100 students. 

An employee of China International Trust and Investment Corporation surnamed Liu who came to Wuhan's universities for the company's recruitment, told the Global Times on Tuesday that after several rounds of nucleic acid testings and as the vaccination drive is under way in the city, Wuhan has become one of the safest cities in the country, and about 300 students handed in their resumes to Liu.

Liu said that in the first half of 2020, the company's Wuhan branch had no interns recruited locally. The number of interns from Wuhan began to return at the end of 2020.


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