2022年1月29日

China’s tourism market picks up speed during the Qingming holiday

(Economic Watch) China’s tourism market picks up speed

BEIJING, April 2 (Liu Liang) The Tomb-sweeping Day holiday is approaching. Under the background of more favorable factors, China’s tourism market is picking up at an accelerating pace.

Recently, the overall situation of the epidemic in China has been improving. Good news, such as the free passage of low-risk areas in China with green code and the vaccination of more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, has continued to spread. This has further stimulated the enthusiasm of Chinese people to travel.

With the relaxation of travel policies in many places in China, the backlog of demand from many people for “in-place Spring Festival” trips is driving a travel boom during the high-qingming holiday. Data from several online travel platforms shows that Chinese people are more willing to travel during the Qingming holiday, and orders for travel products such as air tickets, hotels and home stays are booming in many places.

According to the forecast report of online travel platform Ctrip for Tomb Sweeping Day 2021, the number of travel trips during the festival is expected to return to the same period before the epidemic, and is expected to reach 100 million this year. According to data from Qunar, the days of “cabbage price” for air tickets last year have gone, and some popular airlines have even seen strong price rebound.

In terms of railways, the latest data showed that 49.7 million passengers were expected to be taken by railways across China on April 2 and 5. During the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, China’s railways are scheduled to run 10,046 passenger trains every day, up 10.6 percent from the same period in 2019, setting a new high for this year’s capacity.

In the public travel enthusiasm warming up, hotels, home stay and other markets also ushered in a happy rise. At one point, hotel bookings nationwide increased more than 140 percent during the Qingming Festival in two weeks, according to data released by Flying Pig Travel in mid-March. In addition, during the Qingming Festival, the number of rural home stay bookings also increased significantly, increasing by more than 165 percent.

Tickets for tourist attractions in many places in China are now being pre-sold. As of mid-March, the number of people booking tickets for scenic spots during the Qingming Festival through the platform had recovered to the same level as in 2019.

According to Fang Zexi, an industry analyst with Ctrip Research Institute, the total number of domestic tourists received during last year’s Tomb Sweeping Day fell by more than 60 percent compared with the same period last year. This year, the Qingming holiday has seen an obvious rebound in China’s tourism market. Especially after the Spring Festival, the tourism market has welcomed a number of tourists. In this year’s epidemic prevention and control and travel policies, the Qingming holiday is expected to ushered in a travel peak.

It is worth mentioning that the current hot Chinese tourism market has been extended from the Qingming holiday to the May Day holiday. According to data from Ctrip, with the implementation of the five-day vacation policy during this year’s May Day holiday, hotel orders on April 30 were up 53% on May 5 compared with 2019. In terms of airfares, searches for May 1, solstice and May 5 airfares are up 175% year on year.

Wu Ruoshan, a special researcher at the Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that during the Spring Festival holiday this year, many places in China responded to the initiative of “Spring Festival in place” and postponed the release of the demand for returning home and traveling. The Qingming Festival and the May Day holiday will largely release the backlog of travel demand for the Spring Festival and stimulate the recovery of the tourism consumption market.

According to data from online tourism platforms, an accelerated recovery of China’s tourism market is on the way. But looking to the later stage, Wu Ruoshan said that while there are many positive factors for the recovery of tourism, there are also some obstacles, such as the hopeless short-term recovery of cross-border tourism, the large regional gap in the high-quality development of tourism, and the gap between supply and demand.

Many experts have warned that the holiday is approaching, and the huge demand released in a short period of time has put great pressure on all aspects of the tourism industry as the epidemic prevention and control becomes normal. Relevant parties should actively respond in advance. In addition, people need to take personal precautions while traveling, so that they can not only protect themselves from the possible outbreak of the disease, but also enjoy the full enjoyment of travel. (after)

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