An explosive growth of short videos depicting tourist destinations and delicious food is generating more passion for travel in the country, with the National Day holiday market vividly demonstrating the trend.
Online romantic wedding photos and videos taken in Hainan, for instance, are helping turn the nation's only tropical province into a dreamland not to be missed by more brides and grooms to be.
"Actually, we shot a set of wedding photos in our hometown, but seeing so many beautiful wedding pictures shot in Hainan on the internet made us feel it would be a pity if we didn't follow suit," said Xiao Qing, a would-be groom from Luoyang, Henan province.
"From Oct 1 to 7, more than 220 young couples from Beijing, Shanghai and other domestic cities visited our tourist zone and took wedding photos. They had to line up for a long time," said Sun Qiuyan, a manager in charge of the wedding photo services at Boundary Island, a tourist zone in Lingshui Li autonomous county in Hainan.
Atlantis Sanya, an ocean-themed entertainment complex covering 540,000 square meters in Haitang Bay of Sanya, attracted 49,700 tourists in the first four days of the weeklong National Day holiday.
"Many of them got to know the Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dolphin Cay and its Sea Lion Point from social media platforms," said a staff member at the resort, which started operation in April last year.
As of June 30, the number of user-generated content titled "Atlantis Sanya" on mobile social media application Tik Tok had reached more than 1.8 billion since its opening, according to data from the resort.
"Visual recommendations and introductions by individual tourists online with a personal perspective are welcome to people who now care more about personal experience and quality of leisure when choosing destinations for a holiday," said Jiang Yiyi, a professor of leisure sports and tourism from Beijing Sport University.
"The cyber celebrity destinations are worth visiting because most of them offer tourists food and culture that are characteristic of a certain place," said Wang Mengxia, a tourist from Xi'an.
"One should stay in the city for a couple of days to fully indulge in the extravagant local feasts and entertainment," she added.
The Wenheyou Lobster Restaurant in Changsha, Hunan province, was busier than ever during Golden Week, as it is a must for both locals and tourists to treat themselves to the traditional delicacy to mark the big holiday, said a visitor surnamed Zhang from neighboring city Yiyang.
Another attraction of the chain restaurant is its nostalgic environment, which includes brick walls, neon lights and old-fashioned radios, she said.
But experiences at a cyber celebrity destination could vary greatly depending on the time chosen.
For example, the story of a local resident ordering lobster at a celebrity restaurant in Changsha one day during Golden Week was among the top searches on social media, as the waiting number he was given was a surprising 7,197, according to a report from the Economic Daily.