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  • China’s fragile economic recovery gets a lift from the public holidays that follow the COVID outbreak.

Tokyo — What’s occurring in China a year ago would have been unthinkable anywhere else. Now that coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens are returning to their country’s many tourism destinations.

China’s spring vacation begins on April 29 and lasts for five days leading up to the May Day public holiday on the first of the month. More than 240 million passenger journeys were expected to be made during the five-day period this year, according to the China Tourism Academy, which is higher than pre-pandemic levels.

China’s Lunar New Year travel frenzy is being overshadowed by a COVID outbreak.

Tickets to famous attractions including the Badaling portion of the Great Wall outside the Chinese capital and Shanghai Disney were entirely sold out on the first day, an increase of 151.8% compared to the same day last year. On Saturday, there were more passengers than ever at both of Beijing’s airports.

After appearing to be abandoned only months ago, popular tourist destinations are now again bustling with activity; some have even been obliged to issue online warnings to potential visitors that they have surpassed capacity.

The country’s tourist industry is making the most of this boom. According to state media, due to unprecedented demand on April 30, a vacation town in southwest China raised its prices by a factor of 16. The anticipated cost of a flight is 39% more than it was in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID shut down the country.

China hits back at the WHO, defends its investigation on the cause of the COVIDThis is a huge boon for a growing part of China’s massive economy. A Chinese financial news site reports that three of China’s top airlines lost a total of about $3 billion over the three years of travel restrictions.

The recovery of the Chinese economy from COVID has been slow, so the boost from tourism will be much appreciated by business and the government. In response to falling international demand for Chinese exports, new figures indicate manufacturing activity unexpectedly dropped last month.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce reports that on the first day of the “golden week” vacation, sales at major retail and food service enterprises increased by 21% year over year. The strict “Zero-COVID” policy was abandoned last winter, and many people attribute this to a trend of “revenge spending,” in which people with suppressed shopping and vacation urges try to catch up.

However, Chinese tourists are not yet flooding international hotspots. New research shows that only 10% of Chinese travellers have booked international trips for this year. Though domestic travel has returned to pre-COVID levels, the number of international flights leaving China is still only about an eighth of the figures from 2019.

Instead of factors like price or accessibility, the report attributes the delay to Chinese tourists’ persistent safety worries.

SOURCE :- https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-economy-boost-holiday-travel-boom-post-covid-lockdown/


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