Tourism market shows massive growth over the Spring Festival holiday
The tourism market witnessed a robust recovery over the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, with tourists thronging to domestic destinations, while Southeast Asian countries were favorite overseas options among Chinese travelers, according to travel operators in the nation.
Following the downgrading of China's management of COVID-19, travel orders hit a peak and surged over 400 percent during this year's holiday compared with last year, Shanghai-based online travel operator Trip.com said.
Bookings of outbound tour products soared 640 percent, with Southeast Asian countries favored due to rich tourism resources and friendly COVID management policies for Chinese tourists, it said.
Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Manila and Bali attracted the largest number of Chinese travelers among all overseas destinations during the holiday, based on the statistics of the travel operator.
Air ticket bookings to Bali surged 300 percent during the holiday from the same period last year.
"Compared with popular domestic beach resorts, the cost to Southeast Asian countries is almost the same or even lower during the holiday," said a traveler surnamed Shen who came to Bali during the holiday. "Of course, long-time desire for an overseas trip is also part of the reason behind the journey."
Inter-provincial hotel bookings accounted for nearly 70 percent of all hospitality orders, surpassing that of 2019.
Bookings of admissions for domestic tourist attractions soared 320 percent from last year, with ancient cities like Xi'an, Suzhou, Yangzhou, Luoyang and Kaifeng overcrowded by tourists.
Lantern and temple fairs, and light shows were popular leisure options during the holiday.
Turning to Shanghai, Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Zoo and Oriental Pearl TV Tower were the most popular tourist attractions in the city based on statistics of Trip.com.
Chinese travel services and social networking website Mafengwo said long-distance trips gained popularity over the holiday, posing a surge of 285 percent from last year.
Warm destinations like Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan provinces were top options, and activities with traditional folk flavors, festival-related events such as lantern fairs were popular among young people.
Beijing, Xishuangbanna, Sanya, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Chongqing, Dali and Xi'an were the most popular domestic destinations based on statistics, it said.
Bookings of luxury hotels accounted for nearly 50 percent among all hotel orders, and Thailand had the largest number of orders among overseas destinations during the holiday, according to Mafengwo.
"The consumption potential of Chinese tourists is expected to be released rapidly as the robust recovery of the tourism market these days marked a good start for the year," said Shen Jiani, a tourism analyst.
Lvmama, another Shanghai-based online travel operator said residents in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan were most enthusiastic about travel during the holiday with bookings of long-distance journeys growing nearly 300 percent.
Diversified folk cultural activities across the nation further ignited the tourism market during the holiday, it said.
"I drove my parents to enjoy some intangible cultural heritage activities such as dragon and lion dances, and flower lantern shows in my hometown, which were very impressive," said a tourist surnamed Hu who has been working in Shanghai for years and returned to his hometown Sanming in Fujian Province during the holiday.
Beach resorts represented by Sanya, Xiamen, and Beihai, and destinations featuring a laid-back lifestyle such as Lijiang, Dali and Guilin, were the most popular options among travelers during the holiday, according to Lvmama.
Online travel operator Tongcheng Travel said its bookings of air and train tickets for the holiday surpassed that of 2019, with domestic air ticket bookings surging 129 percent from 2019.