COVID-19 outbreak depresses tourism sector during Qingming Festival

Tourists at a pear orchard in Dangshan County, east China’s Anhui Province, April 4, 2022. /CFP

Tourists at a pear orchard in Dangshan County, east China’s Anhui Province, April 4, 2022. /CFP

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in China weighed on the domestic tourism sector during the Qingming Festival holiday which ended on Tuesday. A total of 75.41 million domestic tourist trips were made across the country, down 26.2 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Total tourism receipts reached 18.78 billion yuan ($2.95 billion), down 30.9 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry said the total number of tourists and revenue during this year’s three-day holiday showed a recovery rate of 68 percent and 39.2 percent, respectively, from the 2019 pre-pandemic level.

People enjoy camping in a park in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, April 5, 2022. /CFP

People enjoy camping in a park in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, April 5, 2022. /CFP

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, travel to other cities and provinces during the holidays has been discouraged by Chinese authorities. Ministry data showed that 94.9% of tourists opted for short trips to the province.

Meanwhile, the country has imposed strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Places such as tourist attractions, public libraries, museums, art galleries, theaters and entertainment venues remained open, but with protocols limiting total number of visits, requiring advance reservation and encouraging off-peak visits. In addition, a series of measures and requirements, such as wearing a mask, measuring body temperature, indoor ventilation and disinfection, remained in place.

A park in Jinhua city, east China’s Zhejiang province, April 5, 2022. /CFP

A park in Jinhua city, east China’s Zhejiang province, April 5, 2022. /CFP

Outdoor enthusiasts were mainly sought after by domestic tourists, such as spring outings to enjoy flowers and camping. Ctrip, the country’s leading online travel agency, said searches for scenic spots and campsites on its platform rose sharply before and during the holidays.

In addition, memorial halls and historical sites were also on the list of popular destinations for Chinese people to learn history and pay homage to revolutionary martyrs.

An exhibition on the life of Li Dazhao, a pioneer of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on April 5, 2022. /CFP

An exhibition on the life of Li Dazhao, a pioneer of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on April 5, 2022. /CFP

The western part of the country, which has been less affected by the current epidemic, has reported a faster tourism recovery, according to Ctrip, with the cities of Chongqing, Xi’an, Kunming, Urumqi and Guiyang among the main destinations. .

Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is a traditional occasion for Chinese people to pay respect to the deceased. It falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese calendar, which was April 5 this year.

Comments are closed.