With COVID-19 pandemic well under control across China, the domestic tourism has ushered in speedy recovery as spring arrives. It's expected that a total of 4.1 billion domestic trips will be made in China this year – up 42 percent from 2020, raking in a revenue of 3.3 trillion yuan ($511 billion), an increase of 48 percent year on year, according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy recently.
Domestic tourism still a trend
The academy's report displayed that the stagnant outbound tourism offers an opportunity for the development of the domestic travel market. COVID-19 has triggered a global economic crisis that may last for years and also brought some changes to people's consumption and travel preferences, as well as management of the tourism industry.
Planning a domestic trip has become a new trend for Chinese globetrotters over the last year, as the demand that used to be for outbound travel has been channeled to the domestic market.
Many industry insiders are bullish on the recovery of China's domestic tourism market after the severe blow dealt to it by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Tujia.com, a Chinese online platform for booking shared accommodation indicated on Friday that the air ticket bookings for May Day holiday this year has already surpassed the number in 2019. As consumption is currently a vital part of the Chinese economy, the travel resumption is now offering a significant support for the country's economy and income of local people.
"Now and in the future, we have great confidence in the government's management and prevention work against COVID-19, and are optimistic about the development of the tourism market," Dai Bin, president of China Tourism Academy said.
Outdoor activities more diverse, RV tours in higher demand
As more Chinese tourists prefer remote destinations and more isolated adventures to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus, traveling on wheels, especially recreational vehicles (RV), is seeing a surge in demand among Chinese tourists, especially in the spring.
According to data from the Chinese tourism website Qyer.com, featured routes, niche tourism, local in-depth tours and self-driving tours are favored by Chinese people. Among them, the demand of outdoor trips also ushered a rapid growth this year. The data revealed that compared with last year, the demand of camping, RV tours and self-driving travel increased by 303.5 percent, 243.5 percent and 78.6 percent respectively.
Parent-child travel appeals for more comfort
The academy's report also expects that family leisure travel will become more common in the future. 42 percent of interviewees said they will travel with their families this year, which means family-friendly travel products will make up a key slice of the domestic travel.
Considering this travel demand, the travel industry has launched a series of travel products targeted at generational family travel from children to grandparents. Compared with previous years, similar travel products are made to meet the needs of epidemic prevention and control measures, while also improving comfort levels.
International travel possible in years to come
International travel looks set to be on the horizon, as the Chinese version of an international health certificate was officially launched on Monday by the Department of Consular Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The certificate, showing one's Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and serum antibody results, vaccine inoculation and other information, is available for Chinese citizens via a WeChat mini program.
A QR code is encrypted to allow authorities to verify the holder's personal information, according to the Ministry. With more countries from across the globe agreeing on mutual recognition of health certificates with China, the international travel health document will play a great role in promoting the healthy, safe and orderly exchange of transnational personnel, and provide Chinese citizens a solid guarantee when traveling abroad.
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