When Nepal chose famous Chinese actress Xu Qing to be its Goodwill Ambassador to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020 in China, she did not need much convincing. She was already in love with Nepal.
“My heart was racing when I saw the breathtaking view of the Annapurna range,” she gushed in a Weibo post from Pokhara, “This is the life I yearn for.”
Xu posted photos of herself posing in front of Machapuchre, boating on Phewa Lake, wearing a marigold garland, and taking selfies with smiling local children. Those images and videos went to 17 million of the actress’ followers on Chinese social media.
Xu Qing, who starred in her first film in 1990, has won numerous awards in the past 30 years. Many of her roles are deeply rooted in the hearts of people, which makes her hugely popular on social media. Her account on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform in China, has more than 17 million followers.
“It was a wise decision for Nepal to choose her as an influencer to promote tourism from China,” says Chinese art curator Justin Zhao who has lived in Nepal for seven years, and founded the Himalayan Light Art Award. “Next door China is the biggest potential market for tourism development in Nepal, and the number of Chinese tourists to Nepal is growing rapidly.”