Dis­counts mul­ti­ply dur­ing gap be­tween hol­i­days

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

The Na­tional Day marked the last golden hol­i­day this year, but the best is just be­gin­ning for those who have cho­sen to use their paid va­ca­tion later.

Many trav­el­ers are tak­ing time off and trav­el­ing after the hol­i­day to en­joy lower prices and qual­ity tours.

“It would be a good time to travel from now to mid-De­cem­ber since most tourists will not choose to be on the road till the New Year and Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­days,” says Shao Ji­hong, se­nior di­rec­tor of air ticket de­part­ment with China’s big­gest on­line travel agency Ctrip.

Flight and ho­tel costs have seen a free fall across the board after the Na­tional Day hol­i­day.

Most flights to popular des­ti­na­tions have seen prices fall by more than 60 per­cent, while the costs were only down 20 per­cent dur­ing the hol­i­day, Ctrip re­ports.

So, if tourists choose to travel be­tween the pe­riod after the hol­i­day and mid-De­cem­ber, they could save a for­tune, says Shao.

Lin Limiao from Bei­jing has made a habit of trav­el­ing in the off sea­son. He re­cently signed up for a group tour to Viet­nam from Oct 21 to 29.

It costs less than 4,000 yuan ($600), and the flights and ho­tel ar­range­ments are fab­u­lous, Lin says.

“The same trip cost at least 2,000 yuan more dur­ing the Na­tional Day hol­i­day,” he adds.

Less crowded scenic spots and much more smooth traf­fic are among perks for trav­el­ing after the ma­jor hol­i­day.

A to­tal of 593 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited tourist at­trac­tions around the coun­try dur­ing the hol­i­day, up 12.8 per­cent yearon-year, the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ports.

They spent 482.2 bil­lion yuan dur­ing the hol­i­day, up 14.4 per­cent.

Many scenic spots were then crowded with tourists.

Lin had a bad ex­pe­ri­ence trav­el­ing to Jiangsu dur­ing the last Spring Fes­ti­val.

“It was all jammed up around at the Hum­ble Ad­min­is­tra­tor’s Gar­den in Suzhou, and many shops were closed in Nan­jing,” he re­calls. “The price was steep too.” How­ever, post-hol­i­day trav­el­ers seemed to have got a good bar­gain.

A one-way flight from Bei­jing to Yun­nan prov­ince’s Kun­ming costs a lit­tle more than 500 yuan per per­son for late October and Novem­ber on Ctrip’s web­site; the hol­i­day week fare was 2,000 yuan.

Costs are around 200 yuan for flights from Shang­hai to Fu­jian prov­ince’s cap­i­tal Fuzhou; from Zhe­jiang prov­ince’s cap­i­tal Hangzhou to Fu­jian’s Xi­a­men; from Bei­jing to Shanxi prov­ince’s Taiyuan; and from Hainan prov­ince’s Haikou to Hu­nan prov­ince’s Chang­sha.

In ad­di­tion, ho­tel prices in hot tourist spots, such as Hangzhou, Xi­a­men, Chengdu, Sanya and Li­jiang, for late October have also gen­er­ally dropped by 20 to 50 per­cent as com­pared with that dur­ing the Na­tional Day hol­i­day.

Many re­tired peo­ple are also tak­ing trips to Ji­uzhaigou in Sichuan prov­ince, Huang­shan in An­hui prov­ince and Zhangji­a­jie in Hu­nan prov­ince, where the au­tumn land­scape color is now de­vel­op­ing, Ctrip’s book­ings show.

Ho­tel book­ings through the agency for late October have surged. More than 50 per­cent of tourists have cho­sen high­end ho­tels.

Hangzhou is the most popular get­away after the hol­i­day, and many ho­tels around West Lake are fully booked.

Those near hot-spring re­sorts are also wit­ness­ing a surge of guests, as chilly weather sets in.

At the mo­ment, Jiangsu prov­ince’s Nan­jing, Suzhou and Wuxi, Yun­nan’s Teng­chong, Hubei’s Xian­ning, and Bei­jing are the most popular choices for post-hol­i­day trav­el­ers seek­ing hot springs.

Those who have their eyes on des­ti­na­tions abroad are also in for a treat.

Flights to South­east Asia have seen a 50-70 per­cent drop.

Flight from Bei­jing to Thai­land’s Chiang Mai has been marked down to roughly 2,000 yuan for late October, as com­pared with more than 4,600 yuan at the be­gin­ning of the month.

A round-trip flight be­tween Shang­hai and Manila, Philip­pines, has dropped be­low 1,000 yuan for late October and Novem­ber, and so have flights be­tween Guangzhou and Sin­ga­pore. Vis­i­tors can ex­pect to pay roughly 1,500 yuan to fly from Bei­jing or Sichuan prov­ince’s Chengdu to Bangkok in the in­terim.

For ski lovers, trips to North Europe and Canada could also be cheap and cheer­ful, since flight prices are dis­counted, too.

Trav­el­ers can also see aurora by spend­ing 5,000 yuan on a round-trip flight from Bei­jing to Reyk­javik, Ice­land.

Drop­ping ho­tel prices have made des­ti­na­tions in Ja­pan and South Korea, es­pe­cially ar­eas with well-known hot springs, popular.

Lin plans to travel to Ja­pan at the be­gin­ning of next year— but be­fore the Spring Fes­ti­val. He’s been only to Hokkaido be­fore.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Some Chi­nese tourists choose to spend their paid va­ca­tion by vis­it­ing nat­u­ral ar­eas in China and abroad thanks to lower prices and qual­ity tours.

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