May Day holiday queues reveal China's economic strength-Xinhua

May Day holiday queues reveal China's economic strength

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-05-06 15:54:15

People visit the Dayan Pagoda scenic spot in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 1, 2023. (Photo by Zou Jingyi/Xinhua)

TAIYUAN, May 6 (Xinhua) -- At the entrance of the Taishan scenic area in Taiyuan, the capital of north China's Shanxi Province, visitors formed a long queue that stretched for dozens of meters. Staff members generously provided them with free bottled water and ice pops.

"What they've done was very sweet and lifted our spirits," said a tourist surnamed Li, coming from more than 100 km away.

Almost every major tourist destination was flooded with a sea of faces during the five-day May Day holiday, which concluded on Wednesday. The sweet burden of the influx of tourists is a fraction of the booming Chinese economy on the fast track to recovery.

Chinese people made 274 million domestic trips during the five-day break, soaring 70.83 percent from the same holiday of last year and up about 19 percent from 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said.

Tourism revenue reached 148.06 billion yuan (about 21.4 billion U.S. dollars), surging 128.9 percent from last year.

The strong growth can be partly attributed to pent-up travel demand after the pandemic. Many netizens have called the experience of lining up for restaurants, tickets and popular tourist attractions "familiar."

Authorities and business practitioners across China are yearning for tourists to return, and have launched a variety of promotions to woo them and further boost local economic growth.

The Huogongdian scenic area in Changsha, a popular tourist city in central China's Hunan Province, welcomed more than 20,000 visitors daily on average during the holiday.

Pingyao, one of the best-preserved ancient walled cities in China and a UNESCO World Heritage site in Shanxi Province, saw over 230,000 tourist arrivals during the holiday.

The heat wave of the holiday economy has even spread from offline to online. Baidu Maps has introduced the function of a "real-time queuing radar," which allows users to check the traffic flow and parking spaces in real time.

"The app can automatically guide us to a parking lot with more spots available," said Chen Erfeng, a tourist to Pingyao.

Official data shows a total of 12,800 A-level tourist attractions were opened during the May Day holiday, accounting for 86 percent of the total. A total of 31,100 commercial performances were held nationwide, with box office revenue exceeding 1.5 billion yuan during the period.

"It's a much-needed booster for the tourism industry," said Geng Yeqiang, a professor at Shanxi University's school of economics and management.

While many prefer trendy cities to visit during the holiday, rural tourism also registered a sharp surge, propelled by China's rural revitalization campaign.

According to data from online travel agency Group, the overall order for rural tours on the platform during the May Day holiday more than doubled that in the same period of 2019, and many opted for a longer stay in the countryside.

"The countryside is becoming more and more beautiful. It's wonderful to chill out or camp with several friends in the rural area," said a tourist surnamed Yang from Shanghai. 


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