HARBIN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's northernmost province of Heilongjiang will hold an "Ice and Snow Day" to warm up its winter tourism industry and sluggish economy.
The provincial legislature adopted a decision to hold the event on Dec. 20 each year, starting this year. State-owned winter sports facilities will be open to the public for free during the event.
Travel agencies and key scenic spots will offer discounted tickets to tourists on Ice and Snow Day, said Hou Wei, deputy director of the Heilongjiang Tourism Committee.
The province's bitter winter, which lasts 120 days, used to be an obstacle to the area's development. However, Heilongjiang has taken measures to turn the cold, snowy season into a resource to boost its economy, which has slowed in recent years amid the country's economic restructuring.
A 300,000-sq-meter park for winter sports was completed in Harbin, the provincial capital, this year.
"Ice and Snow Day will make more people love, use and enjoy ice and snow, creating a favorable environment for developing the winter economy and tourism," said Pang Guangming, a clerk with the provincial legislature.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is held every year in January.