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Self-driving trips popular in holiday as Chinese embrace outdoors

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-08 09:15
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Families park their cars inside the Grand Canal Forest Park for a summer trip during the Labor Day holiday in Beijing, on May 4, 2020. [Photo/]

Self-driving trips have become an increasingly popular choice for Chinese during the past May Day holiday as they embraced the open air after a relaxation of travel restrictions amid the waning COVID-19 epidemic, a report showed.

The index measuring the enthusiasm toward self-driving trips on the first day of the five-day holiday has doubled the level recorded on the first day of the Qingming Festival holiday in early April, according to a report jointly compiled by Kuaishou, a popular short-video sharing platform, and Chinese mapping service provider AutoNavi, or Gaode Map.

This indicates a recovery to 60 percent of the level in the same period last year, according to the report.

The report said visitors were more enthusiastic about traveling by car as they believe it would be safer to visit wide-open outdoor sites due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

During the holiday that ended Tuesday, Chinese tourism authorities required indoor tourist sites to remain closed while setting a 30-percent cap on the daily visitor capacity for outdoor sites that have resumed operations.

Inter-city traveling has also been popular for car trips, the report said, citing city clusters in regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, the Pan-Pearl River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.

A surge in short videos posted online also indicated a rebound in overall tourism. On May 1, the number of sightseeing-themed short videos posted on Kuaishou jumped 45 percent compared with the first day of the Qingming Festival holiday.

An earlier survey jointly carried out by the China Tourism Academy and Group, a leading Chinese online travel agency, showed 41 percent of the respondents would choose to travel by car once the COVID-19 epidemic came to an end, while more than 90 percent of them would choose domestic tours.

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