Domestic travel over Golden Week holiday injects vitality into China’s economy

Tourists visit the Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring scenic area in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, June 27, 2020. (Photo by Zhang Xiaoliang/Xinhua)

(Xinhua) — Golden populus euphratica forest, red gritstone landforms, the thrill of horse-riding….Yang Zeliang and his friends savored them all during the eight-day Golden Week holiday.

Yang, 28, did not leave the city of Chengdu, where he works as a medical representative, this year due to the COVID-19 epidemic. So as the holiday neared, he set his sights on northwest China’s Gansu Province.

“I did not expect that there would be so many people,” Yang said.

China’s remote northwestern region has gained traction as a travel destination during the holiday. Gansu recorded around 15.95 million tourist visits from Oct. 1 to 8, generating total tourism revenue of 9.26 billion yuan (1.38 billion U.S. dollars), data from the local culture and tourism department showed.

Tourist attractions across China received a total of 637 million visits during the holiday. The figure is equal to 79 percent of visits during the holiday last year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Meanwhile, tourism revenue hit 466.56 billion yuan, 69.9 percent of that in the same period in 2019, according to the ministry.

The tourist city of Dunhuang in Gansu, known for Mogao Grottoes, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, received 400,000 tourists during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, raking in tourism revenue of 430 million yuan, up 15 percent year on year.

Tourists try to make mooncakes at Beijing Road pedestrian street in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, Oct. 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

The Beijing Road pedestrian street in the southern city of Guangzhou wore a new outlook following two years of refurbishment, with full 5G coverage and attracted over 4 million visitors during the holiday. It registered a sales turnover of more than 600 million yuan, up 160 percent year on year.

Tourist numbers in Taishan Mountain, east China’s Shandong Province, and Tianmen Mountain, central China’s Hunan Province, have returned to more than 80 percent of last year’s level.

This year’s Golden Week is the first long holiday after authorities lifted most of the domestic travel restrictions amid effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic, and it is widely seen as a barometer of China’s consumption vitality and growth potential.

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