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May Day holiday travel boom highlights economic vitality

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-05 17:22
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People visit a shopping mall in Southwest China's Chongqing, May 4, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- During the ongoing May Day holiday lasting from May 1 to 5, many Chinese people have embarked on journeys to explore the vast country, underscoring China's economic vitality and resilience.

Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, famed for its sprawling skylines, leisurely lifestyle and spicy hot pot, has been among the most popular destinations.

At the city's Shibati scenic area, which features an ancient stairway and various traditional style buildings, Lao Xingye, a tourist from Central China's Hubei province, is amazed by the strong sense of history and unique terrain features of the mountain city.

"In Shibati, there is a mixture of the old and the modern," Lao said. On one side of the main passage of the scenic area are trendy brands and fashion buyer stores; while on the other side are traditional shops selling products such as vintage items, wood carvings and bronze wares.

"Nowadays, tourists pay more attention to quality, and expect a personalized and diversified experience," said Yu Zhu, in charge of investment promotion of Shibati area.

"We should fully take advantage of the local culture and present it in a creative way, trying to establish an emotional connection with tourists, so that the scenic spot can have lasting vitality," Yu said.

As of 11:00 pm on May 3, Yuzhong district, where Shibati is located, received about 5 million tourists in the holiday, an increase of more than 15 percent over the same period last year.

During the first three days of the holiday, the district saw its comprehensive tourism revenue totaling 4.28 billion yuan (about $591 million), up 17.5 percent, according to local government.

Meanwhile, North China's Jilin province, where the tourist hot spot Changbai Mountain is located, has also seen a large influx of travelers.

The province received 3.21 million tourists on the first day of the holiday, up 80 percent year-on-year, and the Changbai Mountain scenic area received 17,100 tourists on the first day, registering a growth of over 326 percent.

Zuo Honglei, manager of the ticket management department of the tourist distribution center of the northern area of Changbai Mountain, said the scenic spot has extended the opening hours to increase tourist carrying capacity, and strictly implemented policies of time-sharing and reservation.

The management committee of the mountain has attracted many catering enterprises such as barbecue shops, cafes, and seafood shops to the commercial street of the scenic area.

"This is my second time to the Changbai Mountain. This time I have not only enjoyed the beautiful views, but also had a one-stop taste of the local delicacies," Yu Tingjiao, a tourist from East China's Jiangxi province said, adding that she also bought black fungus, ginseng and other specialties here.

Located in easternmost Jilin, the border city of Hunchun has been attracting tourists with a wide variety of products imported from Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

The Hunchun Northeast Asia Cross-border E-commerce Industrial Park received more than 15,000 tourists per day during the holiday, an increase of 50 percent, and its daily sales exceeded 3 million yuan, an increase of 200 percent.

The industrial park recently launched a Russian bakery, a king crab themed exhibition hall, along with some discounted activities, said Sun Jufeng, head of the reform and innovation bureau of the Hunchun demonstration zone.

During this holiday, travel destinations in lower-tier markets are embracing a surge in popularity, as infrastructure improves and hospitality capabilities expand.

The small county of Xingguo in Jiangxi province, have launched activities such as music shows, comedy shows, and folk song parties to cater to curious tourists.

Li Yong has traveled from the neighboring Fujian province to the county. "My family plan to stay here for the holiday, to eat delicious food, enjoy shows and see sceneries," Li said. "It's unlike in the past when I would travel around and spend a lot of time struggling to secure tickets as well as making plans for the entire trip."

According to a market forecast by, hotel bookings in county-level markets have spiked by 68 percent year-on-year during the holiday. Data also shows a rise of 42 percent in countryside trips compared to the same period last year.

The country's railway network is expected to handle 144 million passenger trips during the eight-day May Day holiday travel rush from April 29 to May 6, according to China Railway.

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