TOURISM has been booming in China during the National Day holiday, benefiting its economy and those of many other countries, official data yesterday showed.
One of China’s two Golden Weeks, the National Day holiday saw a surge in tourist revenue along with passenger flows. This year the holiday was extended by one day as the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Cake Festival, fell on Thursday.
A total of 705 million tourists traveled around the country during the holiday, generating 583.6 billion yuan (US$87.7 billion) of revenue, the China National Tourism Administration said.
The two figures marked jumps of 11.9 percent and 13.9 percent year on year respectively, the CNTA said.
Provinces with major scenic spots have seen rising numbers of tourists, with southwestern Guizhou having hosting over 46 million tourists who spent 30.5 billion yuan during the eight days, up 42.1 percent and 43.5 percent year on year respectively, said the CNTA.
Inner Mongolia in north China was visited by 106.2 million tourists who spent 8.3 billion yuan, up 24.5 percent and 38.3 percent respectively.
Most Chinese have chosen to indulge in food, cultural and rural tourism this year. Theme parks, museums and traditional culture streets have also seen an obvious growth in the number of visitors, according to CNTA.
The booming tourism was accompanied by busy traffic. Over 110 million trips have been made by rail since the holiday travel rush started on September 28, the China Railway Corporation said.
CRC scheduled thousands of extra trains during the holiday to ensure smooth travel. Airports were also expected to have seen passenger numbers rise, and highways have been clogged with more vehicles.
The economic impact of China’s mobile population has also been felt worldwide as more Chinese have opted to travel overseas.
Data complied by CNTA showed that around six million Chinese from nearly 300 cities traveled to 1,155 cities in 88 countries or regions during the National Day holiday.
Russia was the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, while Moscow was the most popular city, followed by St Petersburg, Bangkok, Pattaya, and Singapore, CNTA data showed.
No figures are available as to how much Chinese have spent overseas during the eight-day holiday.
At a time when traditional growth drivers are losing steam, China has pinned hopes on services, including tourism, for new impetus to drive consumption and employment, and support economic growth and restructuring.