Labor Day holiday a tailwind for economic recovery
With roads, hotels and popular scenic spots packed with millions of people, the five-day Labor Day holiday is a testament to China's success in COVID-19 containment and economic recovery.
Citizens across China expected this year's holiday to be an occasion for leisure not seen since the pandemic. After all, everyone had stayed put long enough.
Official data showed 230 million domestic tourist trips were made during the holiday, up 119.7 percent from last year. In Jinan, the provincial capital of east China's Shandong, over 60,000 passengers took flights from the Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport on April 30, a record high for that date since it opened to air traffic in 1992 and surpassing the highest daily volume in 2019.
Hotel booking rates surged in tourist destinations. Sanya in the southern Hainan Province saw the prices increase by as much as 400 percent. Tickets for popular attractions, many of which can be reserved online, generally sold out days in advance.
None of the above would be possible without China's success in pandemic control. The country's effective prevention and control measures, including a well-functioning contact tracing system widely used for travel, accommodation and catering services, have held up well for a long period of time, boosting people's confidence.
Vaccinations in China are proceeding in an orderly manner, and vaccination rates have steadily improved. Mass vaccination campaigns in major cities, often tourist destinations, provide further assurance for travelers to make bolder plans and feel free to travel around the country.
Famous cities like Changsha and Chengdu are jammed with tourists, with short videos and pictures flying up on social media. The thriving tourism market is part of economic recovery.
Other anecdotal data showed that higher-end hotels and higher-quality services have been more welcome this year, suggesting a trend in consumption. With the pandemic under control and vaccination gaining momentum, booming holiday consumption shows economic vitality and boosts confidence in Chinese economy.