Xiang Yang, a homestay hotel owner in Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture of Hubei province, started to see an increase in reservations after the province recently lifted its lockdown.
Before the epidemic, he had planned to embrace the peak tourism season during the Spring Festival. From Jan 25, the day of Chinese Lunar New Year, to Feb 1, Xiang had about 20 of his 31 rooms booked.
However, starting on Jan 21, people started to cancel their reservations for Xiang's hotel until eventually there was none left.
In February, Xiang and five other workers started to make and post short videos on Douyin, a popular short video app.
In one video, Chen Zhong, one of Xiang's partners, shivered in an outdoor swimming pool inside the hotel and asked audiences: "Have you ever seen people swim outdoors in chilly March?"
It took three hours to make the 12-second video, which received nearly 5,000 likes. Xiang's promotion has paid off so far. He has about eight rooms booked for about five days each. During February and March, his hotel was not empty though.
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