Record crowds her­ald hol­i­day

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By DU JUAN in Bei­jing du­juan@chi­adaily.com.cn

If hit­ting the road brings a sparkle to the hol­i­days, this ought to be one of the shini­est Golden Weeks on record.

China’s civil air­lines had a record­high vol­ume of 965,000 pas­sen­ger trips on Na­tional Day, a year-onyear in­crease of 6.4 per­cent, while the rail­road logged 14 mil­lion trips, up 11.6 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

On the first day of the week­long Na­tional Day hol­i­day — one of China’s two Golden Week va­ca­tion pe­ri­ods — Bei­jing wel­comed some 1.08 mil­lion tourists at 180 pop­u­lar sites in the cap­i­tal, up 9.5 per­cent year-on-year.

Shan­dong prov­ince had 1.39 mil­lion vis­i­tors on Na­tional Day while Sichuan prov­ince saw 1.06 mil­lion vis­i­tors spend 24.51 mil­lion yuan ($3.67 mil­lion) on tick­ets to its 76 key scenic spots.

Tian’an­men Square alone at­tracted more than 110,000 vis­i­tors for its flag-rais­ing cer­e­mony, 40,000 more than last year.

“It’s a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence to cel­e­brate the home coun­try’s birth­day by see­ing the flag-rais­ing in Tian’an­men,” said Cui Kun, 33, an of­fice worker. He brought his grand­par­ents to the cer­e­mony.

The Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing, also known as the For­bid­den City, re­ported 82,000 vis­i­tors on Satur­day, regis­ter­ing slight growth of 2 per­cent over last year’s Na­tional Day.

The com­plex was the na­tion’s high­est cen­ter of power from 1420 to 1911 as home to Ming (13681644) and Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911) em­per­ors. It at­tracts more than 15 mil­lion vis­i­tors an­nu­ally.

To con­trol crowds, the mu­seum sus­pended ticket sales af­ter 1:30 pm. The po­lice depart­ment added 200 of­fi­cers to han­dle the crowds.

The Sum­mer Palace, a for­mer im­pe­rial res­i­dence, re­ceived 34,000 vis­i­tors, down 2 per­cent year-on-year, while Bei­hai Park, a for­mer im­pe­rial gar­den, saw rock­et­ing pop­u­lar­ity with a year-onyear in­crease of 56.5 per­cent to 50,000 vis­i­tors.

The num­ber of tourists is ex­pected to reach its peak be­tween Oct 2 and Oct 5, Bei­jing author­i­ties said.

Cash reg­is­ters are ex­pected to bulge as the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­dicts to­tal tourism rev­enues of around 478 bil­lion yuan, up 13.5 per­cent year-on-year for the week.

The do­mes­tic mar­ket should see a to­tal of 589 mil­lion tourists, up 12 per­cent.

Some folks, how­ever, are choos­ing to stay home to avoid the hol­i­day crowds, in­stead curl­ing up with a good book or invit­ing friends to din­ner.

CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors take self­ies as crowds gather in Tian’an­men Square in Bei­jing on Satur­day to cel­e­brate Na­tional Day, mark­ing the 67th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China.

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