Domestic travel boost
Chinese authorities -- including the Chinese CDC and foreign ministry -- have urged Chinese citizens to avoid unnecessary overseas travel, citing the still-raging pandemic across the world.
The Golden Week holiday -- the longest in China along with the Lunar New Year holiday -- has traditionally seen middle-class Chinese travel abroad in large numbers. Last year, more than
But this year, overseas trips will be practically impossible to make, given the various visa restrictions and quarantine requirements imposed around the world, as well as a lack of international flights. Upon their return to China, travelers must also face two weeks of strict quarantine -- with at least half of the time required to be spent in government-appointed hotels.
The only exception is Macau, which waived quarantine requirements in July for mainland travelers who obtained a negative test result for coronavirus within seven days. Last week, mainland China fully resumed tourist visas for the semi-autonomous region, just in time for the National Day holiday.
As Chinese holidaymakers turn to domestic destinations, local governments are competing to attract tourists.
China's railway operator, China State Railway Group, expected a total of
Some flights have also sold out. Qunar, a Chinese online travel booking site,
And on Chinese highways, massive traffic jams are expected again this year. An average of
Wuhan, the original epicenter of the outbreak, has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists since its lockdown was lifted in April. Last month, Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital,