Knowing All about Hunan

Holidaymakers choose short trips amid outbreak of virus

Source:China Daily
Updated:2022-08-08 11:37:03

Tourists go sailing in boats at the Summer Palace to enjoy springtime in Beijing. PHOTO BY JIANG DONG, CHINA DAILY

Rural homestays benefit as people stay closer to home for Qingming Festival

Local tours are the most popular option for the upcoming Qingming Festival holiday on April 3-5, as travelers have shortened the radius of their travel to reduce risk amid the pandemic, business insiders said.

Data from online travel agency Qunar show that, suburb tour reservations for this year's holiday increased by 30 percent year-on-year.

From the presale of train tickets, as of March 28, the proportion of intraprovincial passengers accounted for 75 percent of the national total, an increase of more than 20 percent compared with the same period last year.

"Since the outbreak of the pandemic, leisure travel to suburbs and rural areas are in demand among tourists," a manager of Qunar was quoted as saying by Beijing Daily.

"The increasing demand energizes accommodation in rural areas, with some having outperformed hotels in downtown areas."

Moreover, during this year's Qingming Festival, some upscale hotels and homestays in rural areas have cut their prices by about 30 percent, attracting many tourists to choose countryside travel, the manager said.

According to the tourism platform, some hotel reservations in rural areas doubled year-on-year, with the price half of that from the Spring Festival in February. Cities including Dali, Chengdu, Lijiang,Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou and Sanya are among the favorite destinations.

"We had to cancel our travel plans to stay in Beijing due to the outbreak across the country. I plan to take my family on a two-night trip in the suburbs and travel around," a visitor surnamed Zhao told Beijing Business Today.

Holidaymakers choose short trips amid outbreak of virus

Visitors take photos in an oilseed rape field of blooms in the rural area of Baofeng county, Henan province, on March 30. Photo by Xinhua

Enjoying the tourist boom, homestays in Beijing's suburbs have witnessed increasing reservations.

The number of guests will be doubled during the holiday, an owner of a homestay in the capital's Yanqing district was quoted as saying by Beijing Business Today.

With flowers in full bloom in the springtime and temperatures rising, people are eager to enjoy outdoor activities.

According to travel service and social networking platform Mafengwo, keywords such as "flower appreciation", "camping" and "cycling" are key search items.

Sales of tickets to some public parks and holiday resorts accounted for nearly 80 percent of the total tourist attractions, data from Qunar showed.

The surge in local tours presents opportunities for the homestay and hospitality industry, which can tackle the industry's lackluster performance due to the effects of the pandemic, business insiders said.

The report on tourism operations of 2021 and development forecast of 2022 released by China Tourism Academy pointed out that, for 2022, the pandemic will remain the biggest uncertain factor affecting tourism sector's recovery. But with innovation, the supply for high-quality cultural products and tourism services will be further enhanced.

Due to the pandemic, local tours are the main traveling mode currently, said Wang Xingbin, a tourism expert told Beijing Business Today.

Wang said it requires more observation for how the tourism industry enters recovery.

"Affected by the pandemic, the tourism industry becomes vulnerable and requires support," Wang said. He added that the tourism industry is expected to suffer from a relatively long period of difficulties under the pandemic.