Residents seize their chance to travel
More than 2 million Hangzhou residents have made plans to travel during the seven-day holiday they’ve been given for the G20 Summit in the city, according to a report by Ctrip, one of China’s leading online travel service providers.
All non-essential government personnel were encouraged to take time off during the summit to reduce pressure on public transportation and avoid inconvenience brought by the summit. The vacation started on Thursday and runs until next Wednesday.
Ctrip said that after the summer vacation, many cities have seen fewer travelers; however, the case in Hangzhou is the opposite.
The city has more than 7 million residents. Many provinces have introduced preferential policies to attract them. For example, Guizhou province announced that all scenic spots will waive entrance fees for Hangzhou residents.
So far, the number of travelers departing from Hangzhou has surpassed that of last year’s National Day Holiday, which is one of the busiest periods for China’s tourism industry.
Ctrip said the trips Hangzhou residents make during the summit could reach five times as many as those during the same period last year.
In2014, public sector employees in Beijing got a six-day break during the APEC meeting, and residents of the capital took the opportunity to travel.
Shen Wei, 33, who lives near West Lake, said he is taking his son to Disneyland in Shanghai.
“I am happy to see Disneyland is less crowded and the ticket is cheaper now,” Shen said. “During the APEC meeting, we were jealous of Beijing residents. Now I think they are all jealous of us.”
Fan Xuguang, Ctrip’s publicity officer, said 67 percent of Hangzhou travelers chose to stay in China, and most of them visited neighboring tourism destinations, such as Shanghai, Jiangsu province and other cities in Zhejiang.
The break is expected to further boost tourism to overseas destinations. Thailand is No 1 on the list. One out of four outbound tourists from Hangzhou went to Thailand. South Korea, Japan, Singapore also saw many visitors.