Gear­ing up to travel dur­ing the Golden Week hol­i­day

China Daily - - TRAVEL - By YANG FEIYUE

Zhang Guangqi has booked a trip to Ja­pan dur­ing the up­com­ing Na­tional Day hol­i­day (Oc­to­ber 1-8).

“I know it’s likely to be crowded ev­ery­where, but I don’t want to spend the long hol­i­day at home,” the Bei­jing res­i­dent says.

Zhang is among the Chi­nese trav­el­ers who want to travel to the four cor­ners of the globe for the Golden Week hol­i­day.

Roughly 650 mil­lion Chi­nese will travel in the coun­try, and 6 mil­lion are ex­pected to go abroad, China’s big­gest on­line travel agency Ctrip re­ports.

The fig­ure is based on cur­rent book­ing num­bers and an­nual growth over the past few years.

Last year, do­mes­tic tourist spots re­ceived 593 mil­lion vis­its, up 12.8 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Tourism in­come was 482.2 bil­lion yuan ($72.5 bil­lion), up 14.4 per­cent.

For the up­com­ing hol­i­day, Hainan, Yun­nan, Bei­jing, Gansu, the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion, Sichuan, Fu­jian, the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion and Guang­dong are the top do­mes­tic des­ti­na­tions.

Hainan has seen book­ings surge 90 per­cent, while book­ings for Bei­jing, Xin­jiang, In­ner Mon­go­lia and Guangxi have in­creased by 150 per­cent.

Leisure, sight­see­ing and well­known des­ti­na­tions re­main the first choice for trav­el­ers, says Shi Yud­uan, chief mark­ing of­fi­cer of Ctrip’s va­ca­tion di­vi­sion.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has also brought pop­u­lar­ity to north­west­ern re­gions, such as Gansu and Xin­jiang.

Travel costs are 20-50 per­cent higher than prices in non-hol­i­day pe­ri­ods, which is nor­mal, says Shi.

“Also, trav­el­ers are more will­ing to spend for bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences, and they tend to fa­vor qual­ity and in­di­vid­ual ar­range­ments in food and ac­com­mo­da­tion,” she adds.

To date, the agency’s book­ings cover 650 des­ti­na­tions in 70 coun­tries.

“From the travel trends this year, pop­u­lar scenic spots are likely to be over­crowded, and tourists are urged to plan early or avoid peak times,” says Shi.

The long hol­i­day is also see­ing a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of long-haul trav­el­ers, who have cho­sen trips of more than 4 days.

Roughly 38 per­cent of them will spend more than seven days out­side, ac­cord­ing to Ctrip.

Shi Yud­uan, chief mark­ing of­fi­cer of Ctrip’s va­ca­tion di­vi­sion

Those who have ap­plied for visas through the travel agency grew by more than 50 per­cent.

Thai­land, Ja­pan, the United States, Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia, Canada, Viet- nam, Italy, Rus­sia and Malaysia are the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for the hol­i­day, based on book­ings.

Ctrip’s in­di­vid­ual trip book­ings to Canada have dou­bled as com­pared with last year. And trips cov­er­ing the coun­try’s east and west coasts, Banff Na­tional Park and Ni­a­gara Falls have nearly sold out, ac­cord­ing to Shi.

Vis­i­tors to Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore and East­ern Europe have also dou­bled.

The visa poli­cies of Ja­pan, Thai­land, In­done­sia and Cam­bo­dia, are likely to see a surge in book­ings to those coun­tries, Shi says.

For Zhang, the Oc­to­ber travel is some­thing that he is look­ing for­ward to.

“It’s been a long while since I could go out and I’m sure it will help me blow off steam,” he says.

Pop­u­lar scenic spots are likely to be over­crowded, and tourists are urged to plan early or avoid peak times

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