Wanderlust spurs tourism, museum visits

Since beginning of year, ticket bookings for such venues up 104%

By ZHU WENQIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-23 08:57
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Tourists visit the Nanjing Museum in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on May 4. LIU JIANHUA/FOR CHINA DAILY

The growing popularity of embarking on cultural trips has been witnessed in China, and museums and other cultural venues have become popular spots for domestic and foreign tourists alike traveling around the country.

During the May Day holiday that lasted from May 1 to May 5, more than 6,000 museums across the country received a total of 50.54 million person-time visitors, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration.

With International Museum Day celebrated on May 18, museums across the country have launched a series of diverse themed exhibitions and social educational activities in May, leading to higher popularity of the cultural and museum tourism market in China.

Since the beginning of the year, the booking volume of museum tickets from domestic tourists has increased by 104 percent over last year. Among every 10 people who booked admission tickets for scenic spots, one was booked for museum tickets, said Trip.com Group, China's largest online travel agency.

"Behind the popularity of cultural and museum tours is the in-depth integration of traditional culture and latest ways of travel. Museums, as important places for inheriting and showcasing culture, have attracted more attention and participation of tourists by hosting various exhibitions and activities," said Cai Miao, product manager of East China at Tuniu Corp, a Nanjing, Jiangsu province-based online travel agency.

In addition, museums across the country have been actively exploring innovative and diverse display measures that meet tourist demand. These include digital and intelligent displays, interactive experiences, short videos and livestreaming sessions, and the development of more cultural and creative products, Cai said.

Young tourists and families with children have become the main consumer groups of cultural and museum tours. This year, travelers aged 45 and below account for 86 percent of the bookings for cultural and museum-related travel products, Tuniu said.

In terms of tourist sources, those from Beijing; Shanghai; Nanjing; Guangzhou and Shenzhen of Guangdong province; Chongqing; Chengdu, Sichuan province; and Xiamen, Fujian province, have shown a strong demand for taking cultural and museum tours, Tuniu found.

"More young tourists and families are experiencing the charm of traditional culture and the fun of museum tours by checking in on some renowned cultural relics, collecting cultural and creative products, and visiting museums online," Cai said.

"The growing trend of hanfu (traditional Chinese clothing of the Han ethnic group) culture and the development of innovative cultural and creative products have also created new consumption hot spots and growth points for the cultural and museum tourism market," she said.

Cultural and historical museums, as well as science and technology museums, have been among the top choices for parent-child travel. Since March, the online search volume for natural science popularization, outdoor exploration and research tour products has doubled compared with February, according to Qunar, a Beijing-based online travel agency.

So far, the total number of national first-class museums has reached 327, following the recent rating of the latest batch of museums that were rated as first-class museums by the China Museum Association.

"National first-class museum "stands as the highest-level classification of museums in China, representing the advantages of the museum in quantity, type and preservation of precious cultural relic collections. As important cultural and tourism resources, such museums have attracted a large number of tourists, the association said.

This year, the Palace Museum, National Museum of China in Beijing, Nanjing Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, Hunan Museum and other national first-class museums have been particularly popular with high volumes of bookings, Tuniu said.

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