China experiences 34.3% increase in domestic tourism during Lunar New Year


During the recent Lunar New Year, China experienced a remarkable 34.3% increase in domestic tourist travel compared to the previous year, reaching 474 million trips. This increase also represents a 19% rise from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported. Between the February 10-17 vacation period, domestic tourism revenue totaled 632.69 billion yuan (approximately $87.95 billion), marking a year-on-year growth of 47.3% and 7.7% compared to the same holiday period in 2019. Destinations such as Yunnan and Hainan provinces, along with the city of Harbin, stood out for their popularity, registering a 40% increase in bookings, driven by events such as its famous ice sculpture festival.

The ministry highlights this trend as a sign of significant recovery in the domestic tourism sector, which was severely affected by the restrictions of the 'zero covid' strategy. Stimulus policies, such as visa waivers and the resumption of air routes, have helped revitalize both inbound and outbound tourism.

Despite the international travel freeze due to the pandemic and the border closure, which was not lifted until the end of 2022, about 3.6 million overseas trips were reported during the vacations. Mainland China received about 3.23 million international visitors. According to the National Immigration Administration, 13.52 million international trips were made during the holiday period, nearly tripling last year's figure and reaching nearly 90% of 2019 levels.

However, international flight recovery reached only 69% of pre-pandemic levels during this vacation, according to financial portal Yicai. noted an increase in bookings to destinations such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as to countries associated with China's New Silk Roads initiative, including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Egypt, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.

China is projected to make about 6 billion domestic tourism trips in 2024, with total cross-border tourism trips exceeding 260 million, according to a report by the Academy of Tourism. Although the projections do not specify the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad, it highlights the gradual recovery of the tourism sector following the reopening of borders.

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