Tourism rebound in China's Spring Festival

Tourism rebound in China's Spring Festival

Tourists visit the Qilou Old Street during the Spring Festival holidaySpring Festival holiday in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Jan 27, 2023. PHOTO XINHUA BEIJING SHANGHAI Major cities in China saw a rebound in tourist arrivals during the Spring Festival holidaySpring Festival holiday as pent-up demand was unleashed after China optimized COVID response measures.

The capital city welcomed over 7 million tourist arrivals during the same period, generating a tourism income of 7.46 billion yuan, up 6.2 percent and 57.6 percent from the previous year. Each tourist spent an average of 1,047 yuan in Beijing, up 48.4 percent year-on-year and 4 percent higher than the reading in 2019.

Over the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, tourists thronging to popular tourist destinations and restaurants logged a robust recovery, including Xi'an, Sanya, Harbin and Chongqing.

A tourist in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi province, said I waited 40 minutes for a Roujiamo. Roujiamo, also called a Chinese hamburger, is a signature street food in Xi'an, an old city home to the Terra Cotta Warriors.

In addition to iconic tourist attractions, short-tour rural trips in the suburban areas saw a big boost in tourism.

The rural areas of Beijing received over 1.34 million visits a year ago, an increase of 54.4 percent and a growth of 22 percent over 2019. The total operating income from these trips was 162.9 million yuan, up 18 percent year on year and 51 percent over the level in 2019

I was thinking of a different way to celebrate the Chinese New Year, so I came here with my family, climbing the Mutianyu Great Wall and experiencing traditional customs such as paper-cutting and lion dance. The hustle and bustle of country life takes me back to my childhood, said a tourist surnamed Wang.

This year's Spring Festival is the first in three years not to encourage Chinese people to stay put during the festival to prevent large-scale outbreaks.

In all, local governments and industries are rolling out festive activities, lively bazaars, and shopping coupons in a bid to bolster the long-awaited recovery from the COVID-19 doldrums. Tourists, who are either bathing in the sunshine on the coastline or braving the winter cold in ski resorts, have been inundated with a whirlwind of activities.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism data shows that over 308 million domestic trips were made in China during this year's Spring Festival holiday, up 23.1 percent year on year.

Domestic tourism revenue generated during the weeklong holiday was 375.8 billion yuan, up 30 percent from a year ago, it added.

The data shows that medium and long-distance tours started to lead the holiday tourism economy. According to Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, the market scale, consumption structure, quality, and economic benefits of tourism during the Spring Festival holidaySpring Festival holiday are comprehensively returning to normal, as well as the consumption power of tourists returning home to visit relatives.