Year of the Rat heralds fresh start for Blue Mountains

Scenic World is inviting visitors from near and far to celebrate Lunar New Year in the Blue Mountains this January and February, with a range of exciting activities on the agenda to usher in the Year of the Rat.

Scenic World will be a hive of activity from January 25 to February 9 as the main forecourt is transformed into an arena for Jianzi, a traditional Chinese sport with origins that date back 2000 years.

Daily tournaments of Jianzi will be held between 11am-2pm, with visitors welcome to show off their skills before venturing into the Jamison Valley rainforest via the world's steepest railway.

An acrobatic Lion Dance, which is traditionally performed during Lunar New Year celebrations to bring good luck and fortune, will also take place at Scenic World on Saturday, February 1 at 11.30am.

Scenic World's chief experience officer Amanda Byrne invited visitors to embrace the good fortune of Lunar New Year which is recognised as a tribute to health, happiness and prosperity in many Asian countries.

"With visitors both local and international who celebrate Lunar New Year, this is always a fun event in the Scenic World calendar, with the rich traditions of many Asian cultures on display," she said.

After a challenging Christmas holiday season for the Blue Mountains tourism industry due to recent bushfires, it's hoped that the Year of the Rat - which symbolises optimism, energy and surplus - will bring a resurgence of tourists to the Blue Mountains.

Celebrated by Asian countries such as China, Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan; the Lunar New Year traditionally brings an influx of visitors from these countries to Scenic World. Previously, up to 12 per cent of Scenic World's annual visitation from Chinese tourists has come during this two-week period, highlighting the popularity of the festival and the boost that it can bring to tourism in the region.

The high hopes for the festival follow the good news that NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service have announced that they have reopened many sections of the Blue Mountains National Park.

Ms Byrne said that the reopening of the Blue Mountains National Park was another piece of good news in what has been a difficult summer so far.

"Visitation to our region was severely impacted over the Summer, when compared with previous years," she said.

"With Lunar New Year around the corner and more sections of the Blue Mountains National Park continuing to reopen, I'm confident we will start to see visitors coming back to our beautiful part of the world, they will be welcomed with open arms."