May Day travel rush in China signals the country’s stepped-up recovery from the coronavirus pandemic
- Passenger trips on Chinese railways hit a new single-day high
- People thronging at railway stations, airports and tourist sites, crisscrossing provinces
- Travel frenzy is giving China’s economy a powerful short-term boost
China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. announced that the passenger trips on Chinese railways hit a new single-day high on Saturday, with nearly 18.83 million trips recorded. The number shows a 9.2-percent increase from the 2019 level, the first day of the International Workers’ Day holiday, which runs through Wednesday.
The May Day travel rush in China signals the country’s stepped-up recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, success in containing the spread of coronavirus and its ongoing mass vaccination campaign, with people thronging at railway stations, airports and tourist sites, crisscrossing provinces.
In mid-April, Chinese travel industry analysts published forecast data for the May Day holiday, showing that bookings have seen significant increases across many business areas compared with pre-pandemic levels.
As of April 14, holiday flight bookings had been 23 percent higher than the same period in 2019, with hotel bookings up 43 percent, attraction tickets up 114 percent, and car rentals up 126 percent.
As a record-breaking wave of Chinese tourists are hitting the road for a May Day trip, the travel frenzy is giving China’s economy a powerful short-term boost.
China’s 2021 May Day holiday is being described “a shot in the arm for domestic tourism” and the five-day break is expected to be a fillip for local economies that have been hard hit by the health crisis.
The temporary rise in prices of tourism services and expected traffic congestion pushed many people to stay home for the holiday, although that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending.
The second “May 5” shopping festival kicked off in Shanghai, with real-time consumer payout data from China UnionPay, Alipay and Tencent Pay — all Chinese payment platforms — showing that consumers forked out over 2.67 billion U.S. dollars in the first 24 hours.