October 25, 2021

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China National Day: After Kovid-19, hundreds of millions are going on vacation at the same time

China National Day: After Kovid-19, hundreds of millions are going on vacation at the same time

Hong Kong (CNN) – China is on the move again. By October 1, hundreds of millions of people are expected to pack roads, trains and planes for the National Day holiday, one of the busiest times to travel in the most populous country in the world.

The eight-day break is the first major holiday from China Corona virus Sudden spread. Although life has returned to normal in recent months, the upcoming “Golden Week” holiday will be an ambitious test of China’s success in taming the virus – and is eagerly awaiting its economic recovery.
Last year, overall 782 million domestic tours According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tourism revenue during the holiday was 650 billion yuan ($ 95 billion).

Tourists flock to Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan Province, China during the National Day Holidays in 2019.

Liu Zhangjun / China News Service / VCG / Getty Images

Ministry ic pushed back With 550 million domestic trips this year, Citrip, China’s largest online travel agency, estimates that number has surpassed 600 million – Both are above 70% of last year’s level.
The level of mass movement in such a short period of time is incalculable in many parts of the world, where governments are still struggling to control the growing epidemic. In the United States, the number of coronavirus cases rose to 7 million over the weekend. Much of Europe is now in the grip Second wave Infections; Cases are also on the rise in countries that have largely escaped the first waves, such as Greece and Croatia, as tourists have taken summer vacations since the reopening of Europe’s internal borders in June.

Currently, the virus is of little concern to Chinese holiday makers, as China is close to zero local transmission and some of the world’s toughest border control measures.

Chen Qianmei, 29, of the southern city of Guangzhou, flew to Shanghai on Tuesday for his vacation. She said she was not worried about the virus, although she was still taking precautions.

“I think China (the virus) is under very good control,” she said. “I wear masks and bring alcohol wipes to clean my hands, especially before eating – in Shanghai, some people now wear masks.”

Show faith

The coronavirus, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last December before spreading worldwide, has been prevalent in China since March. In the following months, small-scale outbreaks flew occasionally – from the northeast of the country to the western part of the capital Beijing and Xinjiang, but were accelerated by all the strict lockdown measures and mass testing programs.

Since mid-August China has not reported any cases of infectious disease locally and has been rigorously monitoring the arrivals of foreign workers and workers at risk of contracting the virus. Last week, it detected its first local asymptomatic infections in a month after two port workers unloaded frozen imported fish in Qingdao.

Two residents are walking in an empty park during the lunar New Year's holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Two residents are walking in an empty park during the lunar New Year’s holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Stringer / Getty Images

The sense of control is in stark contrast to the anxiety and anticipation that overshadowed China’s last major travel period – the lunar New Year’s holiday in late January. The coronavirus outbreak spread through Wuhan, with local officials initially silencing health workers trying to sound the alarm. Two days before Lunar New Year’s Day, the Chinese government ordered an unprecedented lockdown of the city, but by then, the virus had already spread to other provinces and the country, as hundreds of millions of Chinese people had gone home for family reunions or taken vacations abroad.

For more than eight months, all Chinese sanctions on the domestic movement have been lifted. Officially, In some cities travelers are required to produce a green color Health Code To show that they are safe to travel on their smartphones at train stations and airports, but the implementation is very limited in practice.
China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a sign of government confidence in controlling the virus Said last week Since all cities on the mainland of China are recognized as less vulnerable to the coronavirus, domestic trips can be arranged as “normal” for the upcoming holiday.

The center still recommends following local epidemic control measures, wearing masks on trains, planes and congested areas, and keeping a distance of 1 meter (3.2 feet) in tourist areas – the latter of which, if not impossible to observe, is the size of the crowds that frequently flood popular sites during Chinese holidays.

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Last week, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism ordered that tourist destinations be limited to 75% during the Golden Week, a 50% limit compared to previous months. To facilitate contact tracing, visitors must register online in advance.

Tourists wearing face masks line up outside the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China on September 3.

Tourists wearing face masks line up outside the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China on September 3.

HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP / AFP by Getty Images

Wu Junyu, Chief Epidemiologist at Chinese CDC Said State broadcaster CCTV said earlier this month that there would be no need to impose additional restrictions on domestic travel during the National Day holiday, as the coronavirus is no longer transmitted to the community.
“It is now impossible for a virus to infect a social environment.” He said. “Although we have yet to find dozens of imported cases of passengers arriving in China on international flights, the imported cases are handled in a closed loop and do not spread to the community, so there is not much impact on domestic residents.”

Domestic Travel Boost

Chinese officials – including the Chinese CDC and the Foreign Ministry – have urged Chinese citizens to avoid unnecessary foreign travel, citing the ongoing epidemic around the world.

The Golden Week holiday – the longest in China in addition to the lunar New Year holiday – has traditionally seen a large number of middle-class Chinese traveling abroad. Last year, more than that 7 million foreign tours Made during the holidays, Japan and Thailand were among the top destinations, government data showed.
Chinese tourists wait for their tour bus on October 2, 2019 in the Ginza Shopping District in Tokyo, Japan.

Chinese tourists wait for their tour bus on October 2, 2019 in the Ginza Shopping District in Tokyo, Japan.

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images Asiapack / Getty Images

This year, it is practically impossible to make foreign trips due to the various visa restrictions and detention requirements imposed around the world, as well as the shortage of international flights. Upon return to China, travelers will also face two weeks of rigorous detention – at least half the time in government-appointed hotels.

The only exception was Macau, which in July waived detention requirements for major territorial travelers who received a negative test result for coronavirus within seven days. Last week, mainland China fully re-opened tourist visas to the semi-autonomous region for the National Day holiday.

As the Chinese holidays shift to domestic destinations, local governments are competing to attract tourists. According to the ctrip, More than 20 provincial and municipal governments have issued travel vouchers, and 1,500 tourist destinations across China have offered free or discounted tickets.
China Railway Operator China State Railway Group estimates total 108 million train journeys From To cope with the increased demand from September 28 to October 8, an additional 1,200 trains were added to the service, but some tickets on popular routes were picked up anyway.
Some planes were also sold. Khunar, Chinese Online Travel Booking Site, Estimation More than 15 million domestic airline tickets will be sold for Golden Week, a 10% increase from 2019 due to lower airfare.
And on the roads of China, there is a possibility of huge traffic jams again this year. Of average 51 million highway trips According to the Ministry of Transport, the eight-day holiday is an increase of 1% to 3% per day.
Wuhan, the original hub of the outbreak, has become a popular tourist destination in China since the lockdown was lifted in April. Last month, Hubei Province, the capital of Wuhan, Announced Nearly 400 tourist attractions will be open for free until the end of this year. More than 3.74 million tickets have been booked in just one month for tourist destinations in Wuhan, on a booking platform set up by the province since its announcement. Hubby Daily.
The Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan’s famous landmark, tops the list of most sought after attractions for Golden Week, according to Citrip.