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Tourism market shows summer recovery signs

By Cheng Si | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-07 07:49

Tourists enjoy the view of Mount Namjagbarwa from afar in the Tibet autonomous region, on Tuesday. Located at the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon and with a peak 7,782 meters above sea level, the cloud-shrouded mountain has been popular among tourists. TENZIN NYIDA/XINHUA

Passenger record set for air travel over July, August; domestic scenic spots popular

With summer drawing to a close, the tourism market has shown a surprisingly good performance with both domestic and outbound travel growing.

The China Tourism Academy released a report last week, saying domestic destinations received nearly 1.84 billion visits from June to August, generating 1.21 trillion yuan ($167 billion) in revenue.

According to China State Railway Group, trains in summer were up by 18.9 percent over the same period in 2019 — before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Civil Aviation Administration said a record 62.4 million passengers flew in July, a rise of 5.3 percent compared with July, 2019.

Travel portal Trip.com Group said that as of Aug 23, sales of railway tickets on its platform rose 51 percent from the previous two months.

It said that family trips were the most popular among its users, with flights for family trips growing by nearly 56 percent as of Aug 23 from the same period of 2019.

Online tourism services provider Tuniu said that around 51 percent of its users chose long-distance trips during the summer, with Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Guangdong province the top choices.

Tuniu said that Yunnan in Southwest China and Gansu and Qinghai provinces in the northwest saw a remarkable increase in summer travel.

"The Palace Museum was the most crowded I've ever experienced," said 37-year-old Qi Yin from Jiangsu province, who brought her 6-year-old daughter to Beijing in July. "I've been to the city five or six times, but all for business trips. My daughter loves history and Beijing is a good choice for her to learn about it."

Homestay operator and booking platform Tujia said that homestay bookings at popular destinations like Beijing and Chongqing doubled on its platform during the summer compared with 2019, with the average price for homestay rooms reaching 423 yuan per night.

"The price of hotel rooms was around 450 to 500 yuan per night when I was on my business trips to Beijing in recent years, but the price rose to over 800 yuan per night when I booked the room for the summer trip," said Qi.

A report by the tourism academy said that the average price of hotel rooms it surveyed rose by nearly 47 percent year-on-year during the summer holiday, and prices for flights to domestic destinations rose more than 14 percent, while prices of domestic attractions climbed 4.6 percent.

Outbound travel has seen stable growth this summer because of resumed flights. Trip.com Group said that as of Aug 23, cross-border flights departing and arriving on the mainland during summer recovered to 50 percent of that in 2019. Outbound flight ticket prices dropped by 66 percent year-on-year while still 15 percent higher than in 2019.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Bangkok in Thailand and Tokyo in Japan were the top three choices for outbound trips by its users during the summer, according to Trip.com Group.

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