Chinese tourist attractions raise visitor capacity to prepare for tourism boom during National Day holidays

By Qi Xijia Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/1 16:25:16 Last Updated: 2020/10/1 20:42:16

West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou. Photo: VCG

The overlapping Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holidays starting from Thursday, which gives the Chinese people an eight-day break, has stimulated a further rebound of the domestic tourism sector, with tickets for popular scenic spots sold out days in advance.

The return of Chinese tourists to domestic scenic spots can bring a 50 percent year-on-year increase to the heavily-hit tourism industry following the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chinese industry analysts.

The first day of the National Day holiday saw Chinese people flood nationwide scenic spots.

The number of tourists to Beijing on the first day of the holidays increased by 69.84 percent year-on-year to 1.08 million. 

Tourist attractions in Shanghai have received 950,000 visits from tourists on Thursday, or a 110 percent increase than the same period last year. 

Scenic spots in Southwest China's Sichuan Province received 2.17 million visits from tourists, 38.84 percent more than the first day on May Day holiday.

At the Bridge at the West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, two one-way lines have been set up for an orderly flow, photos circulating on the internet showed.

At the Great Wall in Beijing, tourists have to wait and queue up when passing through some narrow and steep stairs, videos uploaded on the internet showed.

At Yellow Crane Tower, in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, once hit hard by COVID-19, the number of tourist reservations has reached the daily upper limit of 25,000 on Thursday morning, an employee surnamed Liu from the scenic spot told the Global Times on Thursday.

Due to the needs of epidemic prevention and control, the tourists will have to show the health code, have temperature measured, wear mask and follow a one-way route while inside the scenic spot Liu said.

"We have seen more tourists this year than in previous years. The number of daily tourists has doubled since we exempted the entrance fee," Liu said, adding that the scenic spot has temporarily increased the reservation quota to meet the demand of the tourists. 

As of press time, the next available reservation date is October 4 for the Yellow Crane Tower, according to Group.

China's travel agency Group predicted in September that 600 million tourists will travel during the 8-day holiday with Lijiang, Lanzhou, Kunming, Sanya, Guiyang, Zhangjiajie, Jiuzhaigou, Guilin, Beijing, and Xining being the most popular destinations.

To prepare for the travel carnival, scenic spots in various places have increased the tourist reception limit from 50 percent of daily top load to no more than 75 percent.

Taishan Mountain, East China's Shandong Province. Photo: VCG

Taishan Mountain in East China's Shandong Province announced on Wednesday to adjust maximum daily visitor capacity from 57,000 to 85,500 from October 1 to October 8. 

On Monday, Mount Huashan in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province announced to increase daily maximum visitor flow from the limit of 20,000 people to no more than 40,000 people, with advance reservation.

Huangshan Scenic Area in East China's Anhui Province has also increased the daily visitor limit from 25,000 to 37,500 people. During the holidays, tickets need to be booked at least one day in advance and offline ticket purchases are not available.

Even with increased visitor numbers, tickets for some popular scenic spots, such as the Forbidden City in Beijing and Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu Province, have already been fully booked before the holidays.

"When I checked the tickets for Mogao Grottoes on Wednesday, they were sold out. I should have booked earlier," a Shanghai-based tourist surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

The willingness to travel domestically has picked up as it is the longest holiday season since the COVID-19 outbreak and outbound travel is still heavily restricted, Feng Ruobing, a marketing executive at China's CYTS Tours, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The number of people traveling during the eight-day break has increased by about three times compared with the summer vacation. We have seen a 50 percent increase in domestic tourism compared with the same period last year," Feng said.

Photo: VCG

In addition, a series of favorable policies also boost tourism, he added.

In August, Hubei Province has announced to exempt admission fee to 400 A-level scenic spots in the province from August 8 to the end of this year.

As of September 27, the province's A-level tourist attractions had received 23 million tourists and achieved a tourism income of 1.99 billion yuan, data from the provincial department of culture and tourism showed.

Other scenic spots have also offered discounts and price cuts to lure tourists. All 81 state-owned scenic spots in East China's Shandong Province and more than 400 A-level tourist attractions in Southwest China's Guizhou Province have implemented a 50 percent discount on tickets.

Photo: VCG

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