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Greater choice gives tourism sector a boost

Updated: 2022-03-01 08:45 ( China Daily )
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The West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, is a hot spot for tourists all year round. LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

SHANGHAI-China saw a robust recovery in its tourism sector during the Spring Festival holiday, as both urban and rural residents found new destinations for their travels.

Approximately 251 million domestic trips were made during the holiday, which ran from Jan 31 to Feb 6, generating tourism revenue of 289.2 billion yuan (about $45.8 billion), according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The two figures respectively recovered to 73.9 percent and 56.3 percent of the levels seen in the same holiday of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The tourism market performed better than expected," says Dai Bin, head of the China Tourism Academy.

China's domestic tourism market continued to rebound during the holiday, with people seeking higher-quality tourism and leisure activities and more consumers in lower-tier cities and rural areas entering the market, according to Dai.

Tourists from rural areas accounted for 38.1 percent of all domestic tourists during the holiday, a new record, official data shows.

The demand for tourism from rural residents and the elderly is becoming a new driving force for the innovative development of the country's tourism industry, Dai says.

More people chose to experience new scenery and tourism products during the Spring Festival holiday. New vacation options, including ice and snow tourism, short-distance travel and cultural tourism, not only brought people more fun but also helped heat up the tourism market.

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which opened during the Spring Festival holiday, fueled the growth of the ice and snow industry.

According to the online platform Tongcheng Travel, the order volume for snow and ice tourism destinations during the Lunar New Year holiday jumped 68 percent from a year ago.

According to Trip.com Group, the order volume for skiing activities grew 33 percent year-on-year over the first three days of the holiday, and cities with abundant winter sports activities in the south, such as Shanghai and Guangzhou, also joined the list of popular destinations for the sector.

Short-distance travel was a popular choice during the Spring Festival holiday.

Fang Zeqian from Trip.com Group says that over 80 percent of tourists chose to travel locally. On the Trip.com Group platform, bookings for local tourist attractions and hotels respectively accounted for approximately 82 percent and 60 percent of all orders.

Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou were among the most popular tourist destinations and also major sources of tourists over the holiday, according to Tongcheng Travel.

There was surging demand for hotels providing specialized entertainment such as esports, with orders for esports rooms during the holiday increasing over 80 percent, Trip.com Group says.

According to the China Tourism Academy, 91.4 percent of all tourists experienced cultural tourism during the holiday, and 81.8 percent took part in more than two cultural activities. Most tourists chose to visit museums and art galleries.

Shanghai received nearly 11 million visitors and raked in over 17.7 billion yuan during this year's Spring Festival holiday, with approximately 500 cultural and tourism activities themed around intangible cultural heritage.


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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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