The logic behind the popularity of Gansu Tianshui Malatang : China The logic behind the popularity of Gansu Tianshui Malatang : China

The logic behind the popularity of Gansu Tianshui Malatang : China

The logic behind the popularity of Gansu Tianshui Malatang : China

The Northeast, Sichuan and Chongqing regions are all famous for their street snack Malatang. However, recently, the Malatang of Tianshui, Gansu, a small town in the northwest, has gone out of the circle and become a hot item in traffic. Since mid-March, related keywords have accumulated more than 800 million views on Weibo.

From Zibo, Shandong last year, to Harbin, Heilongjiang this year, they were promoted to Internet celebrity cities. In mid-March, Tianshui, Gansu Province also became the focus of discussion.

There are rumors on the Internet about a video of a local mala hotpot operator worried about not being able to finish the hotpot due to too many tourists. However, when asked by the media, "Business is so good, are you happy or not?" they still responded, "I'm very happy!"

Tianshui, an ancient town in the northwest of Gansu Province, has a history of 2,700 years. In the past, it was not very famous compared to other cities in Gansu, such as Lanzhou and Jiayuguan. However, it has recently become popular due to its Malatang, which has been praised by Internet celebrity diners for its unique spicy flavor. A wave of tourism. However, some netizens also left messages comparing this phenomenon to "following the trend" and "hype".

Jiemian News pointed out that the search popularity of Tianshui, Gansu on the same city travel platform in the past week has increased by 186%. China's state-run CCTV also reported that data from the Ctrip travel platform showed that tourism and hotel orders in Tianshui, Gansu Province since March (03/01-03/16) have increased by more than 40% to 60% compared with the same period last year. Among them, tourists from other provinces accounted for half.

Tianshui, Gansu Province has become an Internet celebrity city due to Malatang

According to online media reports, the video that set Tianshui on fire was a life record casually released by locals in early February. A video "recommending the popularization of Gansu Malatang nationwide" received more than 1.3 million likes. In the following month, Food Doctor followed the traffic and tasted more and more content about Tianshui Malatang. CCTV News pointed out that as of the evening of March 16, the cumulative views of related topics on China's major short video platforms exceeded 3.2 billion times.

Zhang Qi, who has been named China’s most popular business lecturer, explained on her TikTok account that the soul of Tianshui Malatang lies in “Gangu pepper”: “This pepper has a history of more than 400 years in Tianshui, Gansu, and was once a royal tribute in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. , has now been listed as China's National Geographical Indication Product. One of its biggest features is that it tastes very spicy, but it is not too exciting  in the words of Gansu people, it is only spicy for the lips, not the throat."

In response to this wave of popularity, the Tianshui Municipal Government of Gansu Province also followed the "favorite fan" model of Zibo and Harbin in the past, such as providing Malatang maps and dedicated bus line services. The municipal department also painted walls, paved roads, cleaned streets overnight, provided free parking spaces to foreign tourists, and held folk cultural performances such as stilt walking and social fire. There will also be a Malatang Food Festival from March 16th to 23rd, which will carry out many activities such as marketing and giving away special products to tourists, and promoting high-quality tourist routes. In addition to promoting the development of business opportunities, the Gansu Provincial Market Supervision and Administration Bureau also stated that it will strengthen inspections and list the 10 companies with the highest attention from netizens among the 485 Malatang operators in the city as key regulatory targets.

Tourism development depends on “ cultural heritage and historical depth ”

Business lecturer Zhang Qi said the city's good reputation was built on "the joint progress of the government and the people." But whether this wave of craze can last, Wang Yalei, an industry analyst at Ctrip Research Institute, told Jiemian News that the upcoming Tomb Sweeping Day and May Day holidays are key nodes for whether Tianshui can catch the "wealth splash". Jiemian News analyzed the Baidu search index of Zibo and Harbin in the past and believed that this kind of process of becoming popular and breaking out of the industry generally only lasts for more than a month.

Allen Wang, CEO of Tufeng site, responded to our interview in writing, saying that food is one of the very important elements of the tourism industry, and such a popular phenomenon is not surprising. He believes that the phenomenon of food economy driving tourism economy will continue to appear. “However, relying solely on food to drive local tourism in the long term may not be sustainable. The most typical example is Zibo Barbecue, which is obviously already in a weak state. For the tourism industry to truly develop, it must be determined by comprehensive factors such as rich cultural heritage and historical depth.”

Song Xiangqing, vice president of the China Society of Business Economics, told CCTV that although new consumption hot spots such as "Zibo Barbecue" and "Gansu Malatang" have characteristics that others cannot copy, they must pay attention to safety, quality and operating standards in order to inspire customers from afar. Consumers’ desire for second consumption is worthwhile.

Reporter: Lucie Lo Editor: Li Yaqian Online editor: He Zu


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