China records 115 million first bridge trips after containing the virus

Chinese tourists made more than 115 million trips nationwide during the Labor Day holiday, which ends today, according to official data cited by the local press.

Statistics from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism indicate that turnover in the tourism sector during this holiday period was 47.56 billion yuan (US$6.73 billion, ?6.25 billion). These figures show a recovery of this industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, although not completely.

Hanson Lu
Photo: Hanson Lu

Despite the fact that this year the May Day bridge lasted one day longer than last year (five, the longest since 2008), the number of trips fell by 41% compared to those recorded on that holiday in 2019.

Thus, tourism revenues contracted even further, by almost 60% year-on-year.

These data seem to confirm the forecasts of analysts, who predicted shorter trips and trips to nearby destinations because, although COVID-19 seems to be under control in China, consumption has not yet recovered and many fear a possible resurgence.

They are also in line with the expectations of the government, which had put its forecast of tourist travel for the holiday at 117 million, the first occasion for most citizens in the country to undertake leisure travel since the start of the pandemic.

More than three-quarters of China’s tourist accommodations had opened their doors in preparation for the bridge, according to data released in late April by local travel agencies.

Another factor to consider is that only 70% of the country’s tourist attractions opened their doors to the public and, to avoid crowding, the authorities limited the maximum capacity to 30%.

In the last 24 hours, according to the latest report from the National Health Commission, only one new case of coronavirus has been detected in the country, in a traveller from abroad who arrived in the eastern city of Shanghai.

Author: EFE, La Vanguardia