China experienced a tourism bonanza during last week’s National Day holiday period, as increased transport links and higher disposable income encouraged many to take a break. China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) reported that the country saw 302 million domestic trips taken during the seven-day period – up 18.8% compared to last year’s holiday. Importantly, tourism revenue achieved during the week increased 25.1% to reach CNY145.8 billion (US$22.8 billion), demonstrating the increased spending power of modern China. Of the total tourism revenue, CNY58.1 billion was generated in 39 major tourism cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin, with CNY78.4 billion coming from other cities or rural areas, the CNTA said.
The fast-growing Chinese rail network helped many people get away. The country’s railways carried a record 67.3 million passengers from 28 September to 7 October, Xinhua reported the country’s Ministry of Railways as saying on Saturday. This figure represented a 5.8% year-on-year increase, with a daily record of 8.9 million passengers boarding trains on 1 October – the actual date of China’s National Day. An additional 2,453 train services were added during the holiday period to cope with rising demand, the ministry said.
China’s airlines also enjoyed a bumper week, recording almost six million trips during the holiday period, up 5.2% year-on-year. The total number of flights operated during the period was more than 42,200, an increase of 8.2% over the same period last year, according to Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) figures. Load factors were reported to average between 78-80%.
Sadly the week of celebration didn’t pass without tragedy. More than 50 people died in a series of accidents on China’s roads, the worst coming on an expressway near Tianjin, where a bus crash killed 35 students.
Picture courtesy of: Bartlomiej Magierowski