End to star ranking of COVID-19 risk regions spurs tourism surge

Hu Min
Online searches soared as much as 300 percent after the announcement the latest easing of pandemic restrictions.
Hu Min

Online searches for tourism products such as flights and hotels surged as much as 300 percent after the announcement the stars marking high risk regions on the national travel history tracking code are being removed.

Shanghai-based online travel operator Trip.com said on Wednesday searches on its platform for tour packages to many popular destinations jumped more than 300 percent soon after the announcement, underlining the strong demand for travel.

A summer tourism boom has already been seen as the orders of inter-provincial tours for July 1-August 31 that Trip.com received between June 1 and Tuesday surged nearly 200 percent compared with the same period last month.

Bookings for luxury hotels soared more than 50 percent for the same period, spurred by the resumption of dine-in services in Shanghai eateries.

Another major online travel operator, Tongcheng-eLong, said it saw a 180 percent jump in searches for flights within 30 minutes of the announcement, compared with the same time the day before. Hotel searches soared 220 percent.

"The move is another boost for the badly-hit tourism market which is gradually getting back on track against the background of a number of preferential policies and people's strong demand to travel," said Cheng Chaogong, a tourism analyst.

"And it will make tourists' journeys more convenient and smoother and prevent a one-size-fits-all practice."

Beijing-based Mafengwo, a travel service and social networking platform, said it had witnessed a 225 percent surge in searches about Shanghai Disney Resort, and the announcement of the reopening of the resort had also boosted the popularity of nearby hotels by 126 percent.

The resort is scheduled to reopen on Thursday.

Amusement parks are expected to be popular destinations for the upcoming summer vacation, and they will fuel the recovery in the summer tourism market and boost confidence in the industry, said Feng Rao, a tourism analyst with Mafengwo.

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