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Tourists make up for lost time

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-10 07:33
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Travelers cycle by Erhai Lake in Dali, Southwest China's Yunnan province, on Aug 11. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Passenger traffic at the nation's biggest airports, such as Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, also rose by 20 percent year-on-year.

For the whole domestic tourism market, 52.71 million trips were made during the holiday, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It represented a year-on-year increase of 0.44 percent and accounted for 43 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Revenue generated during the holiday broke 26.52 billion yuan ($3.91 billion), up 4 percent year-on-year, the ministry reports.

Travelers were mostly from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu in Sichuan province, and Guangzhou in Guangdong province.

Destinations offering a mild climate and frequent sunshine proved popular among the holiday travelers, most of whom decided to give themselves a treat after their COVID-19 recovery.

Flight bookings to those destinations, including Sanya, Hainan province; Zhuhai, Guangdong province; and Xishuangbanna and the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province, all rose by more than 10 percent, according to the travel agency.

Those born after 1990 were the driving force of the tourism recovery, with trip bookings from that age group surging by 36 percent year-on-year, while those from family travelers rising by 41 percent.

"We received the first batch of tourists at the beginning of last month, and a considerable number of our guests chose to stay for as long as 30 days," says Zhao Ming, a private tour operator in Sanya. "We can sense their eagerness to relax and have fun."

Most of his clients placed orders without much planning, while some couldn't wait to cash in the bargain deals they stocked up on during the Nov 11 Singles Day national online shopping carnival.

The island city has seen all its beach fun activities get back up and running.

"It is evident that more people are coming in groups," Zhao says.

His company has recently reached potential customers through livestreaming platforms and acquired a good number of orders.

Zhao is confident about the upcoming Spring Festival holiday. "We have developed a number of excursion packages and look forward to leveraging online sales channels to bring in more guests," he says.

Li Xin, a homestay business owner in Dali, has guest bookings lined up for weeks, with most orders coming from Beijing and Shanghai.

"Some of the guests have even booked rooms for their summer vacations, for fear of price hikes," Li says.

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