Virus spread in Beijing impacting travel enthusiasm
Published: Jun 19, 2020 12:49 PM

Photo: Li Hao/GT

The spreading virus in Beijing has stalled travel plans for many, with several online travel platforms saying their booking rates for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival holiday have not increased faster than those of the two other holidays in recent months.

Data from online travel service provider Trip Group showed that bookings of hotel, air ticket, and vacation products during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday from April 25 to 27 have only increased slightly from May, but their growth rates are not as positive as they were during the Qingming Festival holiday in April and the May Day holiday.
From June 8 to 14, bookings for hotels, planes, trains, buses, group tours and package tours saw slight increases compared to the previous week. Hotel bookings increased 12 percent, ticket bookings 7 percent, and vacation bookings 15 percent.

Earlier Trip data showed the number of short-distance tourism packages in April was three times March’s figure. The trips were made mainly during the Qingming Festival and on weekends., another online travel service operator, predicted the tourist volume for the upcoming holidays will be basically the same as during the May Day holiday.

Insiders attributed the drop in growth mainly to the spreading virus in Beijing, as Beijing authorities on Tuesday lifted the city’s emergency response status to level 2, and Beijing’s two major airports both witnessed a sharp decline in flights in the following two days. 

The two major airports said on Thursday that passengers leaving Beijing should bring with them a negative nucleic acid test certificate issued within seven days of departure, per the requirements of Beijing authorities.  

Trip said in note sent to the Global Times that, with the exception of Beijing and other special areas, people's travel and leisure needs will still exist during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, but people will take a more cautious approach to travel. 

While Beijing has raised its emergency response level, many cities including Wuhan, the city hardest hit by the virus, are recovering steadily and have become hot spots for travelers.
Trip data shows that as of June 10, Wuhan's tourism has grown more than 30 percent month-on-month. said that since Wuhan resumed passenger flights on April 8, routes to Shanghai and Beijing have been the most popular from the city.

Global Times