Many people are rather busy rescheduling the upcoming May Day holiday plan after the State Council announced that this year’s holiday would be stretched to four consecutive days.
Within an hour after the announcement, trip searches and bookings surged about 50 percent on Ctrip’s mobile app, the country’s biggest online travel agency.
Ctrip also estimated that about 150 million trips would be made during the period, with notable growth in domestic and regional trips.
Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia are expected to be popular overseas travel destinations during the holiday, while Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai among the hottest domestic tourism cities.
Data from Alibaba’s online travel agency Fliggy showed reservations for flight tickets and hotels skyrocketed after the holiday adjustment was announced.
Li Chen, general manager of Fliggy’s air ticket business, said reservations for international flights surged 150 percent in two hours compared with the same period last week, and bookings for domestic flights increased over 50 percent.
Over the years, there has been a growing tourism demand during the country’s two to three day holidays such as the May Day holiday, said Dai Bin, head of the China Tourism Academy, adding that people’s spending on travel has also grown significantly.
About 147 million trips were made during the three-day May Day holiday last year, while about 726 million trips were made during the week-long National Day holiday, according to the China Tourism Academy.
Holiday extension enables people to better arrange their vacations, though the total number of annual holidays remains unchanged.
Many people are avid travelers and spend about 60,000 yuan, about one-fifth of their annual income, on traveling each year, always going on trips during holidays and weekends.
People’s growing travel interests will give a boost to catering, accommodation, entertainment and other tourism-related industries and will help diversify travel products and services, said Peng Liang, a researcher with Ctrip.
*This article was originally published by the much-respected Xinhua