China's tourism market embraces robust recovery over May Day holiday
-- The five-day May Day holiday has witnessed strong domestic demand for tourism thanks to successful control of COVID-19 and rising vaccination rate in China.
-- Long-distance inter-provincial tours have become popular while regular epidemic prevention measures are strictly implemented in scenic spots.
-- As the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary this year, revolutionary sites across the country have been a hit during the holiday.
As COVID-19 has been successfully brought under control in China and the vaccination rate is rising steadily, the five-day May Day holiday has witnessed strong domestic demand for tourism.
Young people pose for photos at the site of the first National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai, east China, May 4, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)
INTER-PROVINCIAL TOURS SKYROCKETING
Public anxiety over COVID-19 has been eased thanks to the clearance of at-risk areas across the country and the popularization of vaccines, and more Chinese tourists have chosen to go further beyond their cities and provinces.
A tourist from Shanghai surnamed Hu traveled to central China's Changsha to attend a friend's wedding, planning to explore the city afterward.
"Changsha has been so popular among tourists these years, and I've always wanted to have a look," Hu said.
Per data provided by multiple online travel platforms, inter-provincial tours have become popular.
During the holiday, inter-provincial orders accounted for 77 percent of the total, according to Chinese homestay booking platform Xiaozhu.com.
Nearly 90 percent of car rental bookings for May Day travel have been for inter-provincial use, with Sanya, Chengdu and Haikou being the three most popular destinations, while Xinjiang and Tibet are seeing skyrocketing orders, according to Chinese travel services provider Trip.com.
Passenger traffic in and out of Beijing hit a new record on May 1. On the national scale, the number of civil aviation passengers on April 30 significantly exceeded the number seen during the same period in 2019, with domestic routes increasing by more than 20 percent over the same period in 2019.
Industry analysts said that the domestic air transport volume during the holiday has exceeded the pre-epidemic level and is likely to register a record high.
STRICT EPIDEMIC PREVENTION
The Wanshou Palace cultural block in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, has issued multiple warnings to limit numbers of tourists as the scenic spot saw an average daily inflow of 100,000 tourists from May 1 to 3.
"Visitors entering the block are required to wear masks and go through temperature checks. When the instantaneous flow of people reaches 10,000, flow restriction measures will be taken," said Huang Zhigang, director of the block's management company.
The Beijing Badaling Great Wall has strictly implemented its online real-name booking system and restricted the number of tourists during the holiday.
The number of tourists at the Badaling Great Wall scenic area is capped at 48,750 per day. A yellow alert will be issued when the daily booking volume reaches 29,000. An orange alert will be triggered if the booking volume reaches 39,000. The booking system will be halted when 48,700 tickets are booked.
Shanghai received over 10.3 million tourists in the first three days of the May Day holiday. Compared with the same period in 2020, cultural and tourism consumption has increased significantly and even exceeded the May Day holiday in 2019 in some areas, according to the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism.
"RED TOURISM" GAINING POPULARITY
As the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrates its centenary this year, revolutionary sites across the country have been popular during the holiday.
In Shaoshan, Hunan Province, 85,000 people visited the former residence of the late Chairman Mao Zedong on May 2. It was the third most popular tourist site in the province on that day.
Tonggu County of Jiangxi, which has many red tourism sites, reported its first tourist flow peak of the year over the holiday.
The audience looked back on war-torn historical scenes in Jieyuan Village of Ruijin, a city of significance during the CPC revolution. At a performance venue transformed from an abandoned mine, lights dazzled and guns rumbled. As night fell, over 200 locals put on a show using cutting-edge stage technologies.
From May 1 to 3, red tourism sites in Jiangxi's Ganzhou City received 1.59 million tourists, generating a total income of 1 billion yuan (154 million U.S. dollars), per a count from the city's cultural and tourism bureau. The integration of modern science and red tourism has brought new vitality to old revolutionary bases.