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China anticipates a Golden Week tourism rebound

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The Golden Week holiday in China

China is expecting a significant rebound in domestic travel over the imminent Golden Week holiday after the major sector suffered major losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic for months.

An online travel platform Trip.com said in a statement that the demand of tourism that had been smothered for nine months will mostly be released in these eight days. The Golden Week holiday to mark the modern China’s founding has customarily been one of its busiest times for travel both domestically and abroad.

In 2019, the Chinese government data detailed 782 million trips and more than 7 million people travelling abroad, even as some fears over the virus linger.

China expects a significant rebound in domestic travel over the upcoming Golden Week holiday eight-day holiday from October 1.

The recovering travel industry in China

At present, China’s tourism industry is expecting more than 600 million trips to be taken during the October Golden Week, which is a 20% decrease compared to that of last year. It will also be a test of consumer demand after the nation’s success in controlling Covid-19 In 2019, the tourism industry generated RMB 65 billion (99.5$ billion) in revenues.

Although the figures are significantly lower compared to that of previous years, they are exceeding expectations, analysts noted. They pointed out that various travel restrictions are still in place in many areas across the country aimed at preventing a second wave of the epidemic and so some understandably steered clear of travel.

At present, China’s count of new daily Covid-19 cases has mostly been below 100 since May, the smallest on a per capita basis for any large country.

Reasons for the rapid recovery of China’s tourism industry

China’s economic recovery from the epidemic has been facilitated by boosting domestic industrial activities. The major economic powerhouse is now reporting a drastic increase in hotel bookings. Most travel platforms are also reporting that many flights selling out at a fast pace. Moreover, most economic activities are expected to further pick up pace in the weeks and months ahead during the holiday.

The current trend suggested that the Chinese travel industry has reached a turning point. This helped allay concerns among many businesses and consumers with gradually relaxing restrictions in certain areas. Now the tourism industry in the country is hoping that the eight-day holiday from Oct. 1 will further stimulate and pick up the momentum as seen in recent months.

Recovering of China’s travel industry offers a striking contrast to economic sectors in other parts of the continent as well as in the United States and Europe. In these countries, the novel coronavirus is still not under control and major gatherings are strictly banned.

A Chinese passenger that just arrived is checked for fever by a health worker.

Changes in tourist behaviour 

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has indirectly changed the behaviour of some Chinese tourists. Many have opted for domestic trips to minimize travel time and contact with others on public transportation. Moreover, people tend to avoid travelling abroad due to the different quarantine requirements around the world that are in place and decreased frequencies of overseas flights.

As a result, more domestic air bookings were made between Oct. 1 and Sept. 14 than in the year-earlier period in China.

The city where the novel coronavirus emerged is offering incentives to lure visitors during the “Golden Week” holiday.

Precautions taken by the Chinese authorities

Wuhan, the city where coronavirus outbreak emerged also saw a marked recovery in terms of the tourism industry. The city has reopened the city’s border for five months. In fact, the Yellow Crane Tower has become among the most popular tourist attraction for Golden Week.

An extensive test-and-trace regime has helped accelerated China’s recovery from coronavirus. The Chinese are obligatory to show health-tracking QR codes, which have played a key part in containing the virus. Some hotels ask guests to get coronavirus tests before arriving. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, schools have asked parents and students not to go away for the holidays unless strictly necessary. Mass testing campaigns in Wuhan and Beijing have begun to restore confidence among consumers.

Active Cases in China with 176 cases on September 27.

Visitors to cities are also asked to show a smartphone app that displays a green signal if the user has not been abroad, or to one of the country’s remaining outbreak areas, within two weeks.

 

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  1. China expects a Golden Week tourism rebound
  2. Sick of staying home: China expects a Golden Week tourism rebound
  3. China’s Golden Week to test tourist demand after Covid-19

Prepared by: Chun Wai

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