|Children fly kites amid cole flowers in Longquan Village of Xiushui Township in Anzhou of Mianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, March 14, 2021. [Xinhua]|
Chinese people indulged in their desire to travel over the just completed Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, turning the three-day short break into a boost for the recovery of the domestic tourism market.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday show that the tourism industry is in a strong and stable recovery.
During the three-day holiday — from Saturday to Monday — Chinese travelers made about 102 million trips to domestic destinations, a year-on-year rise of 144.6 percent, about 94.5 percent of the level in 2019, before the novel coronavirus epidemic outbreak last year.
Revenue generated over the break reached about 27.2 billion yuan ($4.1 billion), up 228.9 percent year-on-year, about 56.7 percent of the revenue created in the same period in 2019 before the epidemic, according to the ministry.
Travel agencies said several of their business sections have even outperformed that in 2019 when the market was not shocked by the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Beijing, for example, has become the most popular attraction while also the place most travelers are departing from as many of the city dwellers "stayed put" during the Spring Festival holiday.
Figures from Qunar, an online travel agency, said flight tickets bought on its platform departing from Beijing rose by 60 percent over the holiday from that in the same period of 2019, marking the greatest growth nationwide.
Lan Xiang, Qunar's data research director, said people's suppressed desire to travel due to the control measures against novel coronavirus have been released over the break, and the holiday may become a preview for a travel boom during the upcoming May Day holiday and summer holiday.
According to Trip.com Group, also an online travel agency, reservations for tour packages for Tomb Sweeping Day registered a surge of 300 percent year-on-year. Its data recording hotel and attractions ticket reservations also gave solid proof for a strong recovery.
It said travelers have shown a passion for spending their trips at hotels, especially those with high-quality services and views. Orders for hotels on its platform rose by 20 percent compared with the same period in 2019.
Attractions such as the Shanghai Disney Resort and the Palace Museum in Beijing also enjoyed a boom. Trip.com Group said reservations for attraction tickets on its platform increased by 232 percent compared with that back in 2019.
Considering the length of the break, most travelers chose short-distance tours, enjoying flower blossom and cultural experience at attractions near their homes, said Zou Qingling, CEO of Lvmama, an online travel services provider.
She said cities such as Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, Nanjing and Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province, and Zhuhai in South China's Guangdong Province were among the most popular destinations for travelers preferring short-distance tours during the holiday.
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