Left Menu
Development News Edition

Sick of staying home: China expects a Golden Week tourism rebound

China expects a significant rebound in domestic travel over the upcoming Golden Week holiday after the sector was pummelled by the novel coronavirus for months, with some flights selling out and travel platforms reporting a surge in hotel bookings. The pent-up demand is fuelling optimism the Chinese travel industry has reached a turning point, with hopes the eight-day holiday from Oct. 1 will supercharge a tentative pickup seen in recent months, even as some trepidation over the virus lingers.

Reuters | Updated: 28-09-2020 05:31 IST | Created: 28-09-2020 05:31 IST
Sick of staying home: China expects a Golden Week tourism rebound

China expects a significant rebound in domestic travel over the upcoming Golden Week holiday after the sector was pummelled by the novel coronavirus for months, with some flights selling out and travel platforms reporting a surge in hotel bookings.

The pent-up demand is fuelling optimism the Chinese travel industry has reached a turning point, with hopes the eight-day holiday from Oct. 1 will supercharge a tentative pickup seen in recent months, even as some trepidation over the virus lingers. China's resurgent travel industry offers a striking contrast to business in some other parts of Asia as well as in the United States and Europe, where the novel coronavirus is still circulating and gatherings are restricted.

The holiday to mark modern China's founding is traditionally one of its busiest times for travel, and not just at home. Last year, 782 million trips were made, with more than 7 million people travelling abroad, according to government data. "The demand on tourism that was suppressed for nine months will probably be released in these eight days," said online travel platform Trip.com in a statement, estimating that 600 million trips could be made.

China has largely stamped out its coronavirus epidemic, which emerged in the central city of Wuhan late last year, and many restrictions on domestic travel have been lifted. Few people, however, are expected to venture abroad due to various quarantine requirements around the world and a dearth of overseas flights.

But more domestic air bookings were made between Oct. 1 and Sept. 14 than in the year-earlier period, with a surge in August, and economy seats on popular routes, like Beijing to the southwestern city of Lijiang, have sold out, according to travel service provider Qunar.com. Hotel and airline bookings made during the week of Sept. 8-15 exceeded those made during the same period last year, Alibaba-backed online travel platform Fliggy said, with hotel bookings for Golden Week up by more than 50%.

LONGING TO FLY Spending on hotels during the holiday is expected to recover to last year's level, or even see slight growth, according to the research department of China's Meituan Dianping, whose on-demand service apps span groceries to hotels.

"People want to fly somewhere, there is this pent-up demand as they're sick of staying at home," said Mei Xin, retail analyst at Huatai Securities. But still, some coronavirus caution remains.

People often have to show health-tracking QR codes, which have played a key part in containing the virus, and some hotels are asking guests to get coronavirus tests before arriving. And some families are being asked to stay at home.

In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, schools have asked parents and students not to go away for the holidays unless strictly necessary. Beijing-based television producer Pan Lei, 45, said he felt he had to cancel a family trip to the Yellow Mountain tourist area after getting a notice from his children's schools.

"I lost the money I paid in advance," he said. But he said it was understandable there were fears of a second coronavirus wave this winter.

"Schools want to cut risks to the minimum."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Pandemic-era FinCEN leaks ratchet up the urgency of lifting the veil on financial secrecy

As the coronavirus pandemic reverses decades of gains in combatting inequality, its more urgent than ever that authorities excise the dirty money that has metastasized within the financial systems guts....

Videos

Latest News

New tropical depression forms over central Atlantic

A new tropical depression formed Monday morning over the central Atlantic, the latest in a very active hurricane season. The depression has maximum sustained winds near 55 kph.But the US National Hurricane Center says gradual strengthening ...

AMC to reopen more theaters in the United States

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the worlds largest theater chain, said on Monday it plans to open more cinemas in the United States this week, offering some hope to an industry hammered by pandemic restrictions and sending its shares up 24....

What's the issue with Centre in admitting there's community spread: Delhi Health Min

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday asked what was the issue with the Centre in admitting that there was a community spread of COVID-19, even though lakhs of positive cases have been reported in the national capital. His remarks,...

Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ attends 8th Convocation of IIT Indore

Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank virtually attends 8th Convocation of IIT Indore today. The Minister also inaugurated the five buildings of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Computer and Information Technology Center, Central Worksh...

Give Feedback