China's tourism, consumption markets sizzle during Dragon Boat Festival holidays

2023-06-25 08:59:12Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Days of high temperatures in most parts of China and the rainy season in the southern parts of the country did not affect people's enthusiasm for travel during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holidays from Thursday to Saturday, reflecting a continued economic recovery in China.

A total of 106 million domestic tourism trips were made during the holidays, up 32.3 percent year-on-year, equivalent to 112.8 percent of the figure in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic tourism revenue reached 37.31 billion yuan ($5.2 billion), up 44.5 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism released on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a total of 140.47 million passenger trips are estimated to have been made during the holidays via railways, highways, waterways and civil aviation, up 89.1 percent from 2022, the Ministry of Transport said on Saturday.

The railway network is estimated to have carried 43.26 million passenger trips, up 150.2 percent year-on-year. Trips made on highways are estimated to number 89.34 million, an increase of 64.4 percent year-on-year. Waterways saw 2.53 million passenger trips, up 99.3 percent and the civil aviation sector handled 5.34 million passenger trips, up 287 percent on a yearly basis.

Pointing to the tourism and consumption figures during the holidays, analysts noted that while some have raised questions about the pace of China's economic recovery, more signs are emerging that the recovery in China is still on track, despite a global economic downturn.

Many cities received huge tourist flows. For example, Zhuhai in South China's Guangdong Province received 285,900 tourists on Friday alone, an increase of 85.9 percent year-on-year, with tourism revenues reaching 138 million yuan, up 93.2 percent year-on-year, official data showed.

During the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, the volume of air tickets, hotels, scenic spot tickets and holiday business all exceeded that of the same period in 2019, according to a report online travel agency Tongcheng Travel sent to the Global Times on Saturday.

The flow of people in domestic scenic spots has increased rapidly, surging by more than 30 percent compared with the same period in 2019, said Tongcheng.

Since June, domestic summer resort related searches increased by up to 150 percent from May. Domestic summer resorts, such as Southwest China's Yunnan, Northwest China's Qinghai and Gansu, North China's Inner Mongolia and other destinations, become popular summer travel choices for tourists, according to domestic travel platform Mafengwo.

Data showed that the tourism sector is still seeing steady growth, and the extreme hot weather has prompted a surge in demand for summer tourism and vacations, a manager of a Beijing-based travel agency surnamed Dong told the Global Times on Saturday.

"Our best-sellers are travel products that are related with valleys, mountains and everything that makes people feel cool. For example, a hiking and drifting trip of 40 people in Beijing's Yanqing district was sold out before June," said Dong.

A guesthouse owner surnamed Zhou in Jiangshuihe village in the western suburbs of Beijing told the Global Times that all the homestays and hotels in the village were fully booked for the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, apart from one luxury room that costs 3,550 yuan a night.

"Because the village is in the scenic area of Mount Lingshan, which is known for its alpine meadow scenery, the temperature is almost 10 degrees lower than in the urban area which reached 40 C. Beijingers come for hiking and to escape from the heat," said Zhou.

Consumption also saw a surge during the holidays, especially among residents seeking out cooling and sunscreen products amid a scorching heatwave.

Sales of portable fans, sunscreen sleeves, sun-protective clothing and other cooling-related products grew 5-7 times during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, while sunglasses, hats and sunscreen sales are also growing significantly, according to online shopping app Dewu.

Chinese retailer Suning said on Saturday that it welcomed a new round of consumption spree during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, as the number of inquiries for air conditioners in many stores increased by more than 10 times.

Data from online shopping platforms Meituan and Dianping released on Saturday showed that in the first two days of the Dragon Boat Festival holidays, life services consumption increased by 60 percent year-on-year, and the average daily consumption of cross-city tourists increased by 190 percent year-on-year. In particular, night time spending was up 95 percent on a yearly basis, according to Meituan and Dianping.

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