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Focus> In-Depth China> Content
Monday, October 08, 2018, 17:38
Golden Week sees flourishing tourism, consumption upgrade
By China Daily
Monday, October 08, 2018, 17:38 By China Daily

Tourists pose for pictures at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Oct 6, 2018. (PHOTO / IC)

With airplanes taking off and landing, trains thundering in and out of busy stations and some travelers experiencing self-driving tours, the past week-long National Day holiday, dubbed "Golden Week", witnessed soaring upgrade trends in China's transportation, tourism and consumption.

Data released by the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Immigration Administration, China Tourism Academy and various online travel platforms show how Chinese enjoyed the holiday with their rising willingness to travel and stronger spending abilities.

Passengers and train attendants celebrate National Day on the high-speed train from Fuzhou to Hong Kong on Oct 1, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

Busy transportation and highly-favored high-speed railway travel

A total of 616 million passenger trips was estimated to be made during the holiday, according to the Ministry of Transport.

From Oct 1 to 6:00 pm Oct 7, domestic railways served 98.98 million passengers, up more than 10 percent year-on-year; road passenger trips reached 492 million, basically the same as the same period last year; and civil aviation passenger trips reached 12.3 million, an increase of 8.7 percent year-on-year, the ministry said.

ALSO READ: Rail traffic peaks as millions return from holiday trips

High-speed railway travel was highly favored by passengers during the holiday and it contributed to a more than 50 percent year-on-year increase in the number of people traveling to surrounding areas, according to a report by online travel services provider Ctrip.

The Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which came into service on Sept 23, made Hong Kong a super hot destination for residents in the Pearl River Delta region during the holiday. From Sept 28 to Oct 7, the high-speed rail served about 657,000 passengers between Hong Kong and different cities in the Chinese mainland.

Chinese tourists view the aurora borealis in Alaska, US, Oct 2, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

Record high number of inbound and outbound passengers

The number of inbound and outbound passengers set a record high by reaching 13.6 million during the holiday, up 9 percent year-on-year, according to the National Immigration Administration.

A total of 6.63 million people came to China during the holiday, growing by 9.8 percent year-on-year, while 6.94 million people left the country, up 8.2 percent year-on-year.

Post 95s became the fastest growing force in outbound travel by increasing 120 percent in numbers, according to a report by Alibaba Group's travel unit Fliggy.

For Chinese outbound tourists, countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have become more popular. A report by Ctrip read that Chinese people's online searches for Central and Eastern Europe countries, such as Croatia, Serbia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as travel destinations have increased sharply.

READ MORE: Britain expects boost in Chinese tourist during Golden Week

Consumers buy gold jewelry at a jewelry store in Beijing, Oct 1, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

Upbeat commodity consumption upgrade

From Oct 1 to Oct 7, retail and catering enterprises across the country achieved sales of about 1.4 trillion yuan (US$203 billion), with daily sales increasing by 9.5 percent year-on-year, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Organic food, gold and silver jewelry, ultra-high-definition televisions, smartphones, smart home appliances and automobiles all sold well during the holiday. The data showed key commercial enterprises in Northwest China's Shaanxi, Southwestern China's Yunnan and Sichuan and Central China's Hubei provinces grew by 12.7 percent, 12 percent, 11.3 percent and 11.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The catering market was flourishing, with popular restaurants widely favored. The income of key monitoring catering enterprises in Shaanxi, East China's Jiangsu and Hubei provinces increased by 13.2 percent, 12.6 percent and 12.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.

A luxury hotel by the seaside in Sanya, South China's Hainan province. (PHOTO / IC)

Vigorous tourism consumption upgrade

Travel destinations nationwide received 726 million domestic visits during the holiday, up 9.43 percent year-on-year, according to data released by China Tourism Academy. Revenue generated by tourism-related industries reached 599 billion yuan, increasing by 9.04 percent year-on-year.

Star-rated hotels and mid-range hotels accounted for more than 30 percent of Chinese travelers' accommodation options, while non-standard hotels, such as hostels and homestays, accounted for more than 25 percent, according to a report by online travel agent Tongcheng-Elong.

READ MORE: HK business leaders optimistic about Golden Week holiday

Ctrip said Chinese tourists were more willing to spend money on experiences during the holiday and new tourism products, such as private group, customized tours and local guides were popular.

In addition, the top three most popular kinds of goods bought by Chinese outbound tourists during the holiday were cosmetics, playful and practical commodities, and local specialty foods, according to a report released by LY.com, a Suzhou-based online travel agency.

Tourists visit the Confucius Temple in Nanjing, Oct 4, 2018. (PHOTO / IC)

Cultural consumption a new hot spot

More than 90 percent of travelers made visits to attractions highlighting cultural events and activities and more than 40 percent of them experienced two cultural activities during the holiday, making culture experience a high priority, according to the China Tourism Academy.

Data from major domestic online tourism platforms show that the overall booking volume of cultural attractions increased by more than 36 percent from Oct 1 to 7, with the largest increase in the booking volume of tickets and cultural exhibition products.

Tourists play in the countryside in Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 6, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

Flourishing rural tourism

As this year's National Day holiday was close to China's first Farmers' Harvest Festival, which fell on Sept 21, various rural cultural tourism activities attracted a large number of tourists to the countryside to see the beautiful scenery, eat delicious food and enjoy folk customs.

Visitors visit the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, Oct 7, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

Smart and convenient tourism

Intelligent tourism systems and related new media platforms were adopted to strengthen tourism services, market supervision and passenger flow during the holiday.

In Yunnan province, an app with functions such as face recognition, mobile payment and an intelligent tour guide was launched for tourists. In East China's Anhui province, an intelligent tourism system that can monitor the real-time number and distribution of tourists in scenic spots and the traffic conditions at the intersections of scenic spots was adopted.

A Chinese tourist use mobile payment when shopping at La Vallee Village, an outlet mall specializing in the sale of discounted designer brands, in Paris, Oct 1, 2018. (PHOTO / IC)

Booming emerging consumption patterns

New consumption patterns, such as online shopping, online catering, customized tourism, shared accommodation and mobile payment, continued to boom during the holiday.

Chinese shoppers drove a mobile payment trend in the world while traveling overseas. The number of mobile payments in British Bicester Village increased 90 times over the same period of last year, while it increased 70 times and 55 times in the Dotonbori district in Janpan's Osaka and Sydney Airport in Australia, respectively, Chinese online payment platform Alipay said in a report.

Sales of high-end commodities on the food delivery platform also saw growth. In the first three days of the National Day holiday, orders of hairy crabs and wine increased by 16.8 percent and 58.9 percent year-on-year at online food delivery service platform Ele.me.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce also showed that in the first six days of the holiday, the turnover of some e-commerce platforms increased by more than 20 percent year-on-year and the number of orders on some online food delivery platforms increased by more than 50 percent year-on-year.

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