Millions of Chinese are traveling across the country in a period of “revenge tourism” after nearly a year of quarantines, lockdowns and restrictions on their movement. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism predicts that about 550 million people will travel around the country during an eight-day public holiday marking the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese National Day. Photos posted to social media on Tuesday, the first day of the national holiday, showed tourist spots crowded with visitors and stations occupied by worried passengers. People complained on online forums that hotels and tickets to tourist sites were full or that traffic made it impossible to travel. “Congestion is inevitable,” said a commentator on Weibo. “Better to stay at home.” Travel booking site Qunar said hotel bookings have doubled for popular destinations such as Dali and Lijiang in Yunnan Province or Sanya in Hainan, a southern island. Travel sites have fought for customers with discounts, while airlines have added new routes to meet demand. Over 500 scenic spots across the country offer free entry or discounts to visitors. Officials are keen to encourage this pent-up demand, described by state media as “revenge tourism” or “revenge travel” during the annual holiday known as Golden Week, traditionally a prime time for travel and vacation. expenses. Spending over the next eight days will be a key indicator of China’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. State newspaper Economic Information Daily described this year’s vacation as a “critical battle” for the tourism industry. Commentators say this marks the start of Chinese consumers’ “revenge spending”. “After more than six months of epidemic prevention and control work, the holidays will see a real ‘national movement’,” Xu Xiaolei, marketing manager at a tour operator called CYTS Tours, told the Global Times. Watch the flag raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photograph: Lintao Zhang / Getty Officials have placed their hopes of an economic recovery on Chinese consumers, as part of the “dual circulation” policy promoted by Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a means of isolating the country from trade disputes and other external risks. While China has largely contained the virus, with no new locally transmitted case for nearly two months, the effects of months of paralysis persist, with many people out of work or short of money. The volume of domestic tourism officials forecast for this year’s Golden Week is lower than last year, when nearly 800 million people traveled the country. Some people said they weren’t going to go anywhere. On Weibo, one user said: “I also want revenge [travel] But I have no money.” .
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