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Rural charms cast their magic

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-18 08:38

Tourists view terraced fields in Longsheng, in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. CHINA DAILY

Against the backdrop of pandemic prevention and control, travelers have had to explore new ways to have fun.

Last year, more opted for short-distance trips to destinations that are less than two hours away from their homes, via the country's well-developed high-speed rail system.

The volume of people purchasing such rail tickets grew by 30 percent, according to Trip.com Group, the major online travel agency.

"The growth was particularly evident during holidays," says Liu Fangtong, a publicity officer at the company.

During the Dragon Boat Festival (June 12-14), high-speed rail travelers took journeys lasting around two hours and 13 minutes on average, with a travel radius of 338 kilometers, according to the online travel agency.

The top five high-speed rail travel routes in 2021 were Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Hangzhou-Shanghai, Shanghai-Suzhou, Tianjin-Beijing and Chongqing-Chengdu.

"It was obvious that first- and second-tier cities are the most popular destinations," Liu says.

The average travel distance of Chinese tourists from their homes dropped to 141.3 kilometers last year, as opposed to 213 km in 2020, the China Tourism Academy reports.

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