Chinese tourism saw a huge boost in this year's eight-day-long "Super Golden Week," generating 583.6 billion yuan in tourism revenue, up 13.9 percent from the previous year, according to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). Besides the record-breaking numbers, what other trends did this year's Golden Week bring?
Six million trips in 88 countries and regions
According to CNTA's data, there were over 6 million outbound trips this year. Chinese tourists departed from nearly 300 cities in China, arriving in 88 countries and regions, up from last year's 68.
Russia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia are among the top ranking foreign destinations. The most popular overseas cities for Chinese tourists were Moscow, St. Petersburg, Bangkok and Pattaya.
105 million trips on railway, 40 percent of high-speed rail
Railway transportation rose this year with over 100 million trips via train. China Railway estimated 130 million trips during this year's Golden Week, up 10 percent from last year.
Beijing, Harbin, Dalin, Xi'an, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Guilin and Kunming were the most popular destinations.
The world's longest railroad journey begins in China, with 22,000 kilometers.
Expressway prompts self-driving
At the end of 2016, China's expressways added up to 131,000 kilometers. The freeway policy enacted in 2012 has made people more willing to take road trips. CNTA's survey showed that 54.3 percent preferred to organize a trip on their own for a better quality travel.
Statistics from Ministry of Transport of China shows there were 561 million passengers on the highway from Oct 1st to 7th.
The 80s, 90s and females are the mainstream travelers
Women are becoming the primary force during the Golden Week travel, as Ctrip's booking statistics of travel products shows, 60 percent bookers are female.
On the other hand, people between the age of 31 to 45 year old, with more spending capacity, make 33 percent of the tourists profile, while women of 19 to 30-year-olds make up 27 percent, according to China Tourism Academy. These stats show that the 80s and 90s generations are the main force of the Golden Week tourists.
More reasonable consumption abroad
Official data from France shows group tours to France have gradually decreased while free tours are increasing fast, reaching 43 percent. Chinese tourists are more likely to seek individualized travel experience with a deeper understanding of French history and culture.
Countryside and museum theme tours in France, college tour, Broadway shows and NBA themed tours in the US are becoming more popular among Chinese tourists.
Extended stays and better quality tours
As more people prefer self-driving and free tours, a slower lifestyle is favored over the busy scheduled group tour in the past. The Ctrip data shows, 42 percent of all the tourists during the Golden Week travel in a family unit, and they prefer to stay longer at one location for a better experience with families.
Catering industry 's Super Golden Week
According to the Ministry of Commerce of China, retail and catering industry generated 1.5 trillion yuan in sales, and the average sale per day is up 10.3 percent from last year.
MOFCOM's data shows during the Golden Week, Yunnan, Jilin, Tianjin, Shaanxi and Heilongjiang's key monitored catering business increased 22.3 percent, 13.4 percent, 12.5 percent, 11.9 percent and 11.7 percent from last year respectively.
Mid-autumn feast, wedding banquets, innovative dishes and festival themed menu are all very popular during the holiday. Also, ordering food online, delivery services provide more convenience for consumers. In Kunming, the online catering orders increased about 50 percent during the Golden Week.
Box offices skyrocketed, up 68 percent from last year
Not only tourism industry boomed during this year's Golden Week, but the movie industry skyrocketed. According to the mobile movie ticket platform, Maoyao's statistics box offices numbers reaped over 300 million yuan on average per day during the Golden Week this year. From Sept. 30 to Oct.7, the total revenue was 2.64 billion (including service charge), up 68 percent compared to the same period of last year, hitting a new record.
Never Say Die, a local comedy about a male boxer who switches body with a journalist was the biggest blockbuster. It reaped 1.32 billion yuan by Oct. 7th, bring in over half the amount of all the other films screened that week in the box offices. The Foreigner with leading actor Jackie Chan and Hongkong's film, Chasing the Dragon followed with 414 million yuan and 360 million yuan respectively.
A "Mobile Golden Week"
Globally, more tourist sites are offering Alipay and WeChat payments, making digital payment more convenient for Chinese tourists. Alipay has covered more than 200,000 shops in 30 countries and regions, and WeChat payment has landed in over 130,000 shops globally and also supports transactions in 12 foreign currencies.
Meanwhile, mobile travel apps also make booking quick and easy as Ctrip statistics show, more than 70 percent of tourists booked their travel orders through mobile apps than before. Besides bookings, travelers will use these apps to buy local travel products or search for guides.