Mid-Autumn Festival holiday expected to see tourism boom, orders up by 137%

Tourists ride a ferris wheel at the top of the Canton Tower, a landmark in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, Aug. 7, 2022. Tourist attractions that blend modernity with history are gaining popularity among visitors to Guangzhou, one of the top summer travel destinations in China. ((Photo: Xinhua)

The upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is expected to see a tourism boom, with Chinese cities having optimized anti-epidemic travel requirements following recent COVID-19 outbreaks around the country.

Orders on travel agency platforms have shot up by 137 percent compared to the Dragon Boat Festival in June, according to a new report.

The report, released by Ctrip on Wednesday, showed that on its platform, air and train ticket orders as of Tuesday increased by nearly two times and five times respectively, compared with the same period ahead of Dragon Boat Festival. The increase in orders for group tours and theme tours rose by 453 and 525 percent, respectively, and orders for hotels and car rental have more than doubled.

“The Mid-Autumn Festival is expected to become this year’s best holiday for tourism market recovery,” the report said.

As anti-epidemic measures have been adjusted and optimized in cities – such as allowing travelers to move around freely after they receive one nucleic acid test upon arrival – the uncertainties about travel have been addressed and people’s travel confidence has increased, the report explained.

Shanghai has asked travelers to get a nucleic acid test and to report it to local communities within 12 hours if they have traveled to epidemic-hit places. Beijing has required people who enter the city to take a test within 72 hours.

Since August, cases have remained high. The daily surge on Wednesday was 349 confirmed cases and 1,326 asymptomatic cases, according to data compiled by the National Health Commission.

Health experts say that although some popular tourism destinations are still facing pressure in terms of epidemic control, it doesn’t mean the local tourism market will be at a complete standstill. As long as sudden COVID-19 outbreaks can be found quickly, the epidemic can be contained.

Current orders on Ctrip showed travelers prefer long-distance travel the most, accounting for 53 percent of the total, which is followed by tourism around suburbs and neighboring cities and domestic traveling.

The top three trending popular tourist destinations during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday are Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing.

It is the first time that Shanghai regained the most popular tourist destination ranking since Tomb-Sweeping Day. Travel orders for Shanghai have risen 639 percent from the Dragon Boat Festival, according to the report.

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