People enjoy their spare time at a commercial area in north China’s Tianjin, Dec. 31, 2022, the first day of the New Year holiday. (Xinhua)
China’s tourism sector, which has been grappling with COVID-19 impacts for over years, sees a quick recovery in both supply and demand sides during the New Year’s Day holidays as optimized epidemic response policy in the country drives a surge in passenger and traffic flow.
China’s inter-provincial travel and long-distance travel recovers in an orderly manner during the three-day holidays, the first holiday since China announced a series of optimized measures in epidemic control and relaxed travel rules in December 2022, data from China Tourism Academy showed.
Tours around mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are popular choices for tourists during the New Year Day holidays, and the search for ice and snow tourism destinations such as Harbin and Changchun in Northeast China is also on the rise, according to data from the academy.
Beijing, Shanghai and other cities have also launched a series of activities such as New Year consumer festival to promote the overall recovery of consumption. Scenic spots in many Chinese cities launched ice and snow tourism products and entertainment performances to attract tourists during the New Year holidays.
Although consumers are still tending to be cautious, the search for long-distance travel destinations, even including overseas travel destinations, has begun to recover, said Dai Bin, director of the China Tourism Academy.
Travel orders for scenic spots around Beijing have obviously recovered during this holiday, which shows that with the adjustment of epidemic policies, the consumption demands picked up rapidly. Meanwhile, the scenic spots have also resumed large-scale reception capacity, Xu Xiaolei, marketing manager at China’s CYTS Tours, told the Global Times on Sunday.
During this New Year’s Day holidays, the public’s willingness to travel has picked up significantly. Aviation, highway, and railway departments in many places paid real-time attention to passenger flow changes and increased transport capacity to ensure passenger travel.
China’s national railways sent a total of 5.553 million passengers and 6,368 passenger trains on Saturday, the first day of three-day holidays. It is expected to send 4.7 million passengers on Sunday, according to data from China National Railway Group.
Since December 19, 2022, the number of air ticket bookings departing during the New Year has seen daily increases, with a single-day increase of 30 percent, according to earlier data from online travel agency Qunar.com.
The positive trend of civil aviation demand is getting clearer as China has announced the lifting of quarantine requirement for international travel, China Eastern Airlines told the Global Times on Sunday, adding that the airlines plan to accelerate recovery of international and regional routes in the near future.
People in the tourism industry are looking forward to a rapid recovery of tourism during the Spring Festival and the spring of 2023, especially outbound tourism. However, it is objectively seen that it will take some time for the full recovery of outbound tourism, Xu said.