A girl gives a high-five to her grandfather who came to pick her up at the Kunming Changshui International Airport in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Jan. 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)
SHANGHAI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- China is expected to see a Spring Festival holiday with the largest number of travellers in three years, with soaring domestic tourism and recovering outbound tourism, data from online travel platforms show.
As people head home for family reunions, trans-provincial travel is on the rise during the Spring Festival holiday season. Many people have also planned to make long-distance trips, which have become much easier and more convenient after China downgraded its management of COVID-19.
Data from Trip.com Group showed that long-distance travel orders during the Spring Festival holiday accounted for 70 percent of the holiday's total travel orders of the company, up 72 percent year on year.
Tourists prefer to enjoy warmth and sunshine in the country's south or embrace ice and snow in the north. According to the online tourism platform TravelGo, tourist destinations like Xishuangbanna, Sanya and Xiamen in the country's south and Changbai Mountains in northeastern Jilin Province are among the most popular during the holiday.
Short-distance travel, more preferred during the pandemic, continues to be popular among tourists during this Spring Festival holiday. As people return to their hometowns, short-distance tours to scenic spots around small cities are gaining popularity.
Likewise, outbound travel is receiving increasing attention on various travel platforms, as the country's adjusted COVID-19 response has lifted restrictions on overseas trips and promoted cross-border personnel exchanges.
Data from Trip.com Group showed that the demand for flight tickets to Macao during the Spring Festival holiday grew by 97 percent from last holiday, and that for hotels by 57 percent. The number of orders for flight tickets from the mainland to Hong Kong increased over 31-fold year on year.
According to Lvmama, a domestic online travel agency, many tourists still have a wait-and-see approach for outbound travel during the Spring Festival due to limited flights and high travel costs.
As more people are expected to travel abroad later this year, travel operators and investment institutions will shore up confidence in the recovery of the sector, said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy. ■