Num­ber of trips could hit record

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU WEI in Bei­jing xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s tourist mar­ket wel­comed dou­ble-digit rises in tourist num­bers on the first three days of the Na­tional Day hol­i­day, as the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion fore­cast a record num­ber of trips would be made dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s of­fi­cial web­site said 104 mil­lion trips were made on Sun­day, a yearon-year rise of 12.5 per­cent, while the num­ber on Mon­day was 108 mil­lion, a rise of more than 15 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year.

The NTA fore­cast that the to­tal num­ber of trips made dur­ing the hol­i­day could reach 589 mil­lion, up 12 per­cent year-on-year.

It cited fa­vor­able weather con­di­tions as the pri­mary rea­son for the rise in trav­eler num­bers, with ru­ral tourism, eco­tourism and red tourism — trips to lo­ca­tions of his­toric sig­nif­i­cance to Chi­nese Com­mu­nism — be­ing the high­lights.

In Bei­jing, more 1.08 mil­lion trips were made to ma­jor at­trac­tions across the cap­i­tal on Satur­day, the first day of the seven-day hol­i­day, the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sion of Tourism Devel­op­ment said in a news re­lease.

The au­thor­ity said the cap­i­tal wel­comed 1.87 mil­lion tourists on Sun­day, down by 11.2 per­cent year-on-year, and partly blamed lin­ger­ing smog in North China for the de­cline.

In Shang­hai, the num­ber of tourists at some scenic spots rose three­fold year-on-year on Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to news por­tal thep­a­per. Some at­trac­tions, such as the newly opened Dis­ney­land, re­quired visi­tors to stand in line for two hours to pur­chase tick­ets and for se­cu­rity checks.

In Shen­nongjia, Hubei prov­ince, thou­sands of pri­vate ve­hi­cles caused traf­fic grid­lock at the en­trance of a scenic spot and on a nearby high­way, with some ve­hi­cles stuck for more than four hours, lo­cal me­dia re­ported.

Mean­while, out­bound tourism is ex­pected to con­tinue to boom dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port jointly re­leased by the China Tourism Academy and Ctrip, a lead­ing online travel agency, nearly 6 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to travel over­seas on tourist trips dur­ing the hol­i­day.

“Chi­nese tourists are be­com­ing wealth­ier and more ma­ture, and they pre­fer more-cus­tom­ized travel ex­pe­ri­ences,” the re­port said, adding that in re­cent years the grow­ing im­por­tance of a Chi­nese pass­port, the ex­pan­sion of flight routes and ex­chang­er­ate fluc­tu­a­tions have buoyed out­bound tourism.

Chi­nese tourists can en­joy visa-free en­try or ob­tain visas on ar­rival in 57 coun­tries and re­gions.

The in­creas­ingly sta­ble price of tick­ets dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod has been a fac­tor, the re­port said.

“The prices of most do­mes­tic and out­bound routes have re­mained steady, and some even fell,” said, who noted that many routes had been booked by more than 10,000 tourists.

South Korea, Thai­land, Ja­pan, In­done­sia and the United States are the top five des­ti­na­tions for Chi­nese tourists dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod. Mean­while, Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Sanya, Hainan prov­ince, Kun­ming in Yun­nan prov­ince, Shang­hai and Bei­jing are the top five des­ti­na­tion cities in China for tourists dur­ing the hol­i­day, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The prices of most do­mes­tic and out­bound routes have re­mained steady, and some even fell.” Peng Liang, Ctrip’s di­rec­tor of pub­lic­ity

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