Here comes the time of the year! The National Day holiday, also known as the "golden week" in China, is upon us. And most people in the country are switching to vacation mode from October 1 to 7 — ample time for traveling and reuniting with family and friends.
But what should we expect from the upcoming holiday? The Report on Residents' Travel Trends for the Golden Week of the National Day of 2019, issued jointly by online travel agencies Tongcheng Yilong and Tongcheng Travel, sheds a light on how holidaymakers have planned their trips.
Return domestic tickets costlier than int'l air tickets
Pressure is expected to start rising three days before the National Day on October 1 on the country's railway network, including high-speed railway lines in major cities.
Passenger flow will peak on October 1 before gradually subsiding. It will then intensify on October 7, especially from cities in central and western regions, including Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhengzhou and Xi'an, to metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Suzhou.
The report noted that the average price of domestic flight tickets on October 1 is 899 yuan (127 U.S. dollars), excluding taxes and fees, while the average fare for international air tickets is 957 yuan (135 U.S. dollars) excluding taxes and fees.
However, domestic airfares are more expensive than the international ones by the end of the holiday. The former, according to the report, will be 976 yuan (138 U.S. dollars) excluding taxes and fees on average on October 7 — 94 yuan higher than the average international fare on the same day.
Peak at major scenic spots to be on October 3
According to the report, major scenic spots will see a surge in visitors from October 2 to 4, when they'll witness about one-third of the total passenger flow during the Golden Week. October 3 will be the peak of traveling to famous landmarks.
The hot spots will include zoos, forest parks, theme parks, museums, relic sites and ancient villages.
Sanya, Xiamen hottest cities for long-distance tours
Sanya, Xiamen, Beijing, Urumqi, Lijiang, Xi'an, Shanghai, Kunming, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Dali and Xining are the most popular domestic destinations for long-distance tours.
The success of certain movies and TV series have piqued people's interest in the filming locations. For example, the popularity of online series "The Longest Day in Chang'an" is expected to attract a large number of young tourists to Xi'an, the ancient capital of the Tang Dynasty, and its surrounding.
Tours to islands overseas remain popular
Islands in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean have always been a favorite destination for Chinese tourists. According to the report, Long Beach Island, Bali in Indonesia, Saipan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Mauritius are popular destinations for Chinese travelers looking for a taste of the island life. The demand for cruise ships during the upcoming holiday has also surged.