Balmy weather fuels holiday rush to Shanghai parks
The pleasant weather during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday – from Sunday to Tuesday – spurred a travel rush to Shanghai's parks
Parks across the city recorded 1.85 million visits over the three days, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau
Among these, the city's countryside parks had nearly 110,200 visits.
The travel peak appeared on Monday, hitting 649,200.
The various activities held at local parks in tandem with the good weather and the staycation travel trend all boosted the number of park visitors, the bureau stated.
Shanghai Zoo received 56,482 visits over the three days in total, and Gongqing Forest Park had 122,000 between Sunday and Tuesday.
Binjiang Forest Park recorded 27,850 visits while Chenshan Botanical Garden had over 33,000.
Traveling around was a popular holiday option, travel operators said on Tuesday.
Online travel review site Mafengwo said staycation travel was the main trend across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic background.
More than 50 percent of travel orders in China were to nearby places, though Beijing, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Chengdu, Sanya, Lhasa, Shanghai and Zhuhai were popular long-distance destinations, according to Mafengwo.
Bookings for the newly opened Universal Beijing Resort accounted for 42 percent of all orders regarding amusement parks, with families with children also favoring zoos and museums.
Destinations featuring moon appreciation, camping, cycling and stargazing activities gained in popularity.
These included Hulunbuir, Emerald Lake in Qinghai Province, Zhangye in Gansu Province, and Zhongwei in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Shanghai-based online travel operator Trip.com said about 56 percent orders came from people touring nearby places, with driving tours gaining in popularity, surging 77 percent from the same period in 2019.
East China and South China regions were popular destinations for short tours, including to Universal Beijing Resort, Yuntai Mountain scenic area, Tianmu Lake, Bipenggou and Chimelong Tourist Resort.
Bookings for camping tours also grew nearly 50 percent from this year's Dragon Boat Festival.
"The recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks forced many tourists to cancel inter-provincial tour plans and instead replace them with destinations closer to home," said Shen Jiani, a tourism analyst.
"'Micro tours' are becoming part of people's tourism plans and various resort complexes, theme parks and recreation vehicle camping sites are gaining wide acceptance," said Shen.
Online travel operator Lvmama, also based in Shanghai, said destinations which can be reached within a three-hour drive were most favored during the holiday and families with children accounted for the majority of tourists.
There was a boom in amusement park tours spurred by the opening of Universal Beijing Resort on Monday, it added.
Night tours on the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhujiang River in Guangzhou, Hucheng River in Shaoxing, and Huangpu River cruise tour in Shanghai were popular and rural tourism packages involving hairy crab tasting and autumn harvest activities were also popular options for families in the Yangtze River Delta region.