China's Labor Day holiday travel rush sees 230 million domestic trips
Updated 22:28, 05-May-2021
Tourists at the Xi'an Ancient City Wall in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China, May 3, 2021. /CFP

Tourists at the Xi'an Ancient City Wall in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China, May 3, 2021. /CFP

China's domestic trips topped 230 million during the five-day Labor Day holiday, from Saturday to Wednesday, posting a year-on-year increase of 119.7 percent, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Wednesday.

The surge reflected people's restored enthusiasm for domestic travel, greatly boosted by China's effective containment of the pandemic and progress in vaccination. 

The number of trips made, on a comparable basis, has recovered to 103.2 percent of the same period before the pandemic, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said. 

During the May Day holiday, domestic tourism revenue increased by 138.1 percent to 113.23 billion yuan ($17.49 billion) on a year-on-year basis, restoring to 77 percent on a comparable basis to the same period before the epidemic, the agency said.

Figures from Chinese online travel company, formerly known as Ctrip, showed holiday flight bookings went up by nearly 180 percent from the same period in 2019. Hotel bookings also rose by more than 40 percent, while reservations for tourist spots saw a threefold increase.

For the restaurant industry, the data form also showed the number of orders in the first three days of the holiday was the highest in more than half a decade. As for shopping, nearly 500 million parcels were delivered in the first two days of the holiday, up by 26 percent year on year, according to the data from the State Post Bureau.

UnionPay's online transactions totaled more than 750 billion yuan, up 5.5 percent from the same period last year. It's also worth mentioning that duty-free shops in the island province of Hainan have become hot destinations. Nearly 300 million yuan worth of goods were sold in the first two days, up by nearly 190 percent year on year.

Liu Zhiqin, senior fellow for financial study from Renmin University of China, told CGTN that the May Day holiday economy attached great importance to China's economic recovery post COVID, especially the supply and demand sides, and it turned out to be a successful test for the circulation of domestic consumption, which is the mainstay of China's ongoing "dual circulation" development pattern. 

"Especially for the supply side, they are encouraged to produce more products to meet demands," Liu said. 

The spending structure of China during the holiday and the success of the holiday economy gave a positive implication to the world. 

"China is getting ready to support and to boost the global economic recovery," he added. 

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