Visitor numbers flourish amid the colorful arrival of spring


Visitors on sightseeing boats enjoy rapeseed flowers in Qianduo, Xinghua City, Jiangsu Province. The city hosts a rapeseed flower festival which runs until May 8.[Photo/Xinhua]

With the pandemic situation under control nationally and spring blooms blooming across the country, travelers are eager to travel again.

Flights to and from Beijing doubled just after the capital announced on March 12 that it no longer requires people arriving from other low-risk areas to undergo nucleic acid tests or two weeks of health surveillance starting March 16, according to leading online travel agency Trip. com.

Previously, those in low-risk areas had to show a negative nucleic acid test result taken seven days before arriving in Beijing and undergo further tests after arriving in the capital.

All areas of mainland China are now considered low risk areas.

“Cleaning up high-risk areas in China is definitely great news for the tourism industry,” said Zhang Li, CEO of Trip.com’s tourism channel division.

Based on company data, Zhang claims that the trading volume is doubling every day, nearly 10 times that of the Spring Festival.

“Improving tourist confidence is boosting the recovery of tourism,” said Zhang, adding that product innovation is important to cover all types of tourists.

The reduction in the price of plane tickets has also increased the enthusiasm of travelers, especially for the flower appreciation tours. According to figures from Trip.com, the average price of an economy class ticket before taxes in March is 500 yuan ($ 77), down about 20% from the same period in 2019.

Searches for flights to Beijing for Labor Day are seven times higher than the same period in 2019, and associated bookings are up 240%, according to figures from the online travel agency.

Flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Sanya in Hainan province are among the most popular.

In mid-March, bookings for tourist spots for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday in April were up about 10% compared to the same period in 2019.

Shanghai, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Chongqing and Kunming in Yunnan Province are among the most popular destinations chosen by travelers.

Fang Zexi, industry analyst at the Trip.com research institute, says the number of tourists fell by more than 60% during the holiday period last April due to the pandemic.

However, Fang says that current bookings for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, sightseeing tickets and interprovincial tours have all improved dramatically.

The number of tourist visits is expected to reach 100 million for the April holidays of this year.

Analyzing booking data, more than half of travelers favor short-haul autonomous tours during the April holidays. Fruit picking and theme parks are popular activities among families.

Tourist sites have also launched special programs to improve the visitor experience.

Ticket bookings for Taoist Qiyun Mountain in Anhui Province increased 40% from 2019.

Visitors can experience traditional Chinese music, tea making and tasting, burning incense, and artwork all dating back 1,000 years.

Travelers will also see golden rapeseed blossoms line the mountain during the tomb sweeping vacation.

According to the China Tourism Academy, the Chinese tourism sector has so far experienced a strong recovery this year and is expected to continue its current momentum as the country eases travel restrictions amid stable COVID-19.

There has been a strong upward trend in demand for city leisure travel, suburban vacations, family trips and study trips.

The latest data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China shows that the country’s civil aviation industry handled about 23.95 million passenger trips in February, a jump of 187.1 percent from year after year.

Online travel agency Qunar says passenger traffic on domestic routes has returned to the level seen during the same period in 2019.

Tourism industry insiders say people are using upcoming vacations to make up for trips they missed earlier.

According to a report by the Tourism Academy, an estimated total of 4.1 billion domestic tourist trips will be made to China this year, up 42 percent from last year. Domestic tourism revenues are expected to increase 48% to 3.3 trillion yuan.


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