Na­tional Day tourism to set new records

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By YANG FEIYUE yangfeiyue@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

An an­nual mass mi­gra­tion of va­ca­tion­ers is set to reach newheights this year.

Nearly half of China is ex­pected to travel dur­ing the up­com­ingNa­tional Day hol­i­day.

The coun­try’s tourists are fore­cast to spend a for­tune over the week­long pe­riod, which starts on Oct 1.

Roughly 590 mil­lion Chi­nese will tour dur­ing the va­ca­tion, up 12 per­cent over last year, a late Septem­ber China Tourism Academy re­port says.

Tourism rev­enue is pro­jected to grow 13.5 per­cent to reach 478.2 bil­lion ($71.7 bil­lion). That’s 800 yuan per capita.

Do­mes­tic and out­bound tourism mar­kets have ex­pe­ri­enced brisk sup­ply and de­mand, China’s big­gest on­line agency, Ctrip, reports.

“Most do­mes­tic and out­bound routes’ prices have stayed steady,” Ctrip’s pub­lic­ity direc­tor Peng Liang says. “Some even dropped.” Many routes were booked by over 10,000 tourists, Peng says.

The Yangtze River Delta Area, in­clud­ing Zhe­jiang’s provin­cial cap­i­tal, Hangzhou, and Shang­hai, are ex­pected to re­ceive record num­bers.

A new Dis­ney­land re­cently opened in Shang­hai. Hangzhou re­cently hosted the G20 Sum­mit.

Tra­di­tion­ally pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions, such as Hainan province’s Sanya, Sichuan province’s Ji­uzhaigou Val­ley and Yun­nan province’s Li­jiang, will con­tinue to em­brace waves of tourists.

While fig­ures for out­bound travel book­ings from China aren’t yet avail­able, they’re ex­pected to ex­ceed last year’s.

Out­bound travel surged 14 per­cent to ex­ceed 4 mil­lion tourists last Na­tional Day hol­i­day, the Shang­haibased tourism-con­sult­ing ser­vice Gold Palm reports.

The Chi­nese pass­port’s grow­ing weight, the ex­pan­sion of flight routes and ex­change-rate fluc­tu­a­tions have con­tin­ued to buoy China’s out­bound tourism over re­cent years.

Chi­nese can en­joy visafree en­try or visas on ar­rival in 57 coun­tries and re­gions.

Those that re­cently re­laxed visas, such as Morocco, Tu­nisia and Tonga, have seen the in­flux of Chi­nese vis­i­tors in­crease 300-600 per­cent, Ctrip reports.

The in­crease in flights to neigh­bor­ing na­tions like Ja­pan has pushed down prices.

Long-haul des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing France, the United King­dom, the United States and Rus­sia, are 20-30 per­cent cheaper than dur­ing the hol­i­day last year. The num­ber of Chi­nese vis­i­tors is ex­pected to in­crease 40-60 per­cent, Ctrip says.

The pound’s de­pre­ci­a­tion, fol­low­ing the Brexit, con­tin­ues to boost Chi­nese travel to the UK.

Chi­nese are ex­pected to visit South Korea for shop­ping and health check­ups.

They’ll head to Ja­pan to en­joy hot springs and red maple leaves. But the rise of the yen against the yuan may put a damper on re­tail.

Still, the hol­i­day seems set to qual­ify as a “golden week”, as it has long been col­lo­qui­ally known, not only for trav­el­ers but also for des­ti­na­tions.

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