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China's holiday travel surge underscores economic vitality
  ·  2023-10-10  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

China experienced a tourism surge during the recent extended "golden week" holiday, underscoring the country's economic vitality and resilience. Millions of people took to exploring the country, traveling to destinations ranging from the popular to the offbeat.

This year's eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday brought about the most robust travel season seen in recent years, with tourist trips and revenues both surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 826 million domestic trips were made in China during the holiday, an increase of 71.3 percent from last year and 4.1 percent from 2019.

The total revenue of the tourism sector increased 129.5 percent year on year to 753.4 billion yuan (about $104.9 billion) during the period, reflecting 1.5 percent growth from 2019, the ministry said.

The travel rush is further substantiated by data from the transportation sector.

A daily average of 57.28 million passenger trips were made during the eight-day holiday, surging 57.1 percent from the National Day holiday last year, official data shows.

On September 29, the country's railways saw a record single-day peak of over 20 million passengers.

Xu Bin, who works at China Railway Shenyang Group Co., Ltd. in northeast China's Liaoning Province, said that despite the addition of 100 return train services and 540,000 seats during the holiday period, some popular routes were still in high demand.

Air trips averaged 2.14 million a day during the holiday period, skyrocketing 195 percent from a year earlier, official data shows.

Xie Yue, senior manager of the operations control center at Beijing Capital International Airport, noted that daily passenger volumes over the first five days of the holiday doubled from last year. The airport facilitated a surge in domestic flights, with the number of flights during the holiday surpassing the 2019 figure.

Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, received a total of 12.2 million domestic tourists during the holiday, exceeding the city's permanent population. Some tourist attractions in the city were obligated to implement emergency crowd control measures.

According to the research arm of China's major online travel agency, the return of crowds signals that the recovery of the tourism industry is becoming the new normal. This reflects China's economic vitality and strong consumer market.

Simultaneously, the recovery of China's outbound tourism is set to boost the economies of destination countries and revitalize the global tourism industry.

On the first day of the 2023 golden week holiday, outbound travel orders surged 11 times from the same day last year and 54 percent from the May Day holiday this year. Popular international destinations for travelers from China included Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC's) Economic Impact Report 2023 predicts that China's travel and tourism industry will contribute 1.48 trillion U.S. dollars to the national economy by the end of 2023, representing growth of more than 150 percent from 2022.

"Chinese travelers want to explore the world once again and international travelers are eager to return to this amazing country, rich in culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm welcomes," Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, said in a press release from the organization.

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