Golden Week revives China’s domestic tourism sector

China’s eight-day National Day holiday drew to a close Thursday with hundreds of millions making return journeys in what was the first post-pandemic Golden Week break.

Data from the cultural and tourism department as well as online travel agencies has sent out a strong signal of the revival of tourism, which has been hard hit by the pandemic, during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.

A positive message on tourism rebound

China saw a total of 637 million trips made across the country during the holiday, generating 466.56 billion yuan ($68.71 billion) in tourism revenue, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Tourism recovered to approximately 79 percent of last year’s level over the first seven days of the holiday.

The number of domestic tourists, as well as the scale of tourism expenditure, reached the highest peaks of the year, showing enhanced national confidence in tourism consumption, China’s leading online travel agency Ctrip said in its latest report.

High-speed rail tours get trendy

As China’s railway network has expanded over the years, traveling by high-speed train has become many travelers’ default option for transport. And the Golden Week holiday often equals the largest passenger flow for rail.

This year’s holiday has witnessed the daily number of train trips exceed 10 million, according to the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd (China Railway). October 1 saw the highest number of railway trips – over 15 million, which is about 88 percent of the same period last year.

The Ministry of Transport also said the country’s transport sector maintained stable and orderly operations.

Check out China Media Group (CMG)’s special coverage on high-speed rail tours during the holiday: Highlights from CMG’s eight-day high-speed rail tour

Hubei Province gains in popularity

Apart from major tourist cities of Beijing and Shanghai, it’s worth noting that the central Chinese province of Hubei – once the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic – embraced a significant growth in popularity during the holiday.

The province recorded 52.28 million tourist arrivals during the eight-day holiday, around 82 percent of last year’s level, raking in 34.8 billion yuan in revenue, data from the provincial tourism department showed.

Yellow Crane Tower, a landmark of the provincial capital Wuhan, also made the list of the top 10 most popular scenic spots across the country.

Nearly 400 national A-level tourist attractions across the province are offering free entry to domestic tourists until the end of the year. And the promotion has definitely worked to boost tourist arrivals.