China's one-day Qingming Festival travel income up nearly 30%, showing solid recovery
Published: Apr 05, 2023 09:21 PM
Tourists pose at the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, North China's Shanxi Province, on April 5, 2023, during the Qingming Festival. Photo: VCG

Tourists pose at the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, North China's Shanxi Province, on April 5, 2023, during the Qingming Festival. Photo: VCG

China's tourism sector continued its strong rebound, with travel income from one-day trips during the Qingming Festival on Wednesday growing by nearly 30 percent year-on-year, showing robust potential in post-epidemic consumption.

In total, about 23.77 million domestic trips were made nationwide on Wednesday, an increase of 22.7 percent from last year's trips, and domestic tourism revenue is expected to reach 6.52 billion yuan ($950 million), an increase of 29.1 percent over same period in 2022, data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed on Wednesday. 

During the Qingming Festival holiday, 12,635 of the 14,952 A-level tourist attractions across the country were open, or 84.5 percent of the total, the ministry said. 

China State Railway Group, the national railway operator, also said the travel peak from April 1 to April 3 saw 11.75 million passenger trips each day.

Extending the robust rebound in the Qingming Festival, the Chinese tourism sector is expected to welcome another peak during the May Day holidays, as tickets for some popular routes have been sold out.

Economy class tickets for Beijing to Dali, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, were sold out on April 29, and Beijing-Xishuangbanna (in Yunnan) and Shanghai-Xishuangbanna economy class ticket prices have been raised to full price, according to data from travel portal Qunar sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

As of Monday, the number of air ticket bookings for May Day holidays in Xishuangbanna, Beijing, Sanya (South China's Hainan), Zhuhai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen (South China's Guangdong), Chengdu (Southwest China's Sichuan) has exceeded that of the same period in 2019, Qunar said. 

Overall domestic travel bookings during the May Day holidays in 2023 have increased by 150 percent year-on-year by March 26, and the number of outbound travel bookings has increased by nearly 17 times year-on-year, latest data showed.

Market watchers attributed the May Day holiday travel boom to the fact that there is only one day of holiday for the Qingming Festival, and travel demand has been extended to the next holiday.

Meanwhile, China has announced its second batch of pilot outbound travel destinations, bringing the list to 60 countries, which is also driving outbound travel demand.

Outbound tours accounted for 25 percent of the travel packages for May Day holiday bookings as of March 27. Among them, Thailand, New Zealand, and the Maldives are the top three destinations, according to, another Chinese online travel service provider. 

More than 10 outbound group tours starting from April 25 to countries such as Spain, Argentina and France have been sold out, Guan Jian, spokesperson from GZL International Travel Service, told the Global Times on Wednesday, adding that such tour packages last around seven to 12 days.

"The May Day holiday outbound travel packages are more popular than we expected," Guan said. 

Along with the recovery of the tourism sector, China's civil aviation sector is expecting a bumper summer-autumn aviation season starting from March 26 this year, foreshadowed by a notable increase in outbound planned flights.

Regarding the recovery of international travel, the number of international passenger flights implemented last week has reached 2,021, returning to about 80 percent of the level before the pandemic, Liang Nan, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on Tuesday. 

Chinese and foreign airlines are also actively arranging transport capacity based on forecasts for China's international air transport market, and greatly increasing international passenger flight plans. 

Liang said a total of 28 domestic and 88 foreign airlines plan to arrange 5,290 weekly round-trip flights on routes in 62 countries and regions, covering 123 outbound cities.