Destinations in western China gaining popularity ahead of summer: report

Nearly 80 percent of the top 100 tourist destinations in China are seeing a rise in popularity as the summer holiday approaches, a new report has shown.

Attractions in western China in particular have witnessed a noticeable increase in online searches.

The report was released by Chinese online travel agency Mafengwo and Tencent Culture and Tourism Center. It looked into online users' searching, browsing, sharing and booking data on the platform.

Jiayu Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province topped the list of most attractive destinations with a growth of 231.2 percent, followed by the city of Xining in northwest China's Qinghai Province, Hohhot in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Xishuangbanna in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Prayer flags at Xining in northwest China's Qinghai Province. /VCG

Prayer flags at Xining in northwest China's Qinghai Province. /VCG

As domestic group tours haven't fully resumed yet due to the current epidemic situation, many travelers are opting for road trips, said Feng Rao with Mafengwo Tourism Research Center. Self-driving routes in northwest and southwest China as well as Inner Mongolia that boast splendid natural scenery with less crowds are favored by many vacationers.

"More travelers would like to drive to these places for a breath of fresh air and experience the fun of driving," Feng said.

Meanwhile, family vacations, especially parent-child trips, remain popular during the summer season. Data showed that the most searched destinations include Shanghai Disneyland, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Beijing Wildlife Park and water-themed parks.

Earlier this month, Beijing lowered its emergency response from the second level to the third and announced it is allowing domestic group tours from low-risk areas, sending out a positive message to the tourism industry.

Read more: Beijing likely to see group tours rise during upcoming holiday

(Cover: A rural village at Xishuangbanna in southwest China's Yunnan Province. /VCG)