Visitors wearing masks climb the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing, on March 24, 2020. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/chinadaily.com.cn]
The domestic tourism market is slowly recovering after being walloped by the novel coronavirus outbreak thanks to strong containment measures and preferential policies for travelers.
During the just completed Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, also called Qingming, Chinese travelers made more than 11.3 million trips by train, according to data cited from the China State Railway Group.
A report released by the China Tourism Academy said that people have shown a strong desire to travel after being quarantined and telecommuting over the past two months.
Travelers have expressed great satisfaction with the travel services, though the number of travelers and revenue saw a sharp decrease over the holiday, according to the report.
The report said that domestic attractions received about 43 million visits during the three-day break from Saturday to Monday, 61.4 percent lower than the same period last year. The tourism-related revenue registered a year-on-year reduction of 80.7 percent, earning about 8.26 billion yuan ($1.16 billion).
The number of travelers over the holiday was about 40 percent lower than in previous years with some attractions embracing booms, according to Qunar, an online travel service provider in Beijing, as the nation's tourism market slowly recovers.
For example, Huangshan Mountain in Anhui province released three notices on Sunday to temporary close the attraction as the number of visitors reached its limit of 20,000.
The CTA said that tourism departments at all levels are making efforts to revive the market after tightening up coronavirus prevention work over the holiday.
Short-distance tours and self-driving trips are the most popular ways to travel during the holiday, the report said.
A report by Trip.com, an online travel agency in Shanghai, shows that reservations of short-distance tours in April were three times higher than in the previous month.
In addition, Lvmama, another online travel services provider in Shanghai, said that about 83 percent of its users drove themselves.
Incentives and preferential policies given to travelers are the main measures driving the recovery of the tourism market. On April 1, Huangshan city in Anhui launched a two-week tourism campaign allowing residents to visit designated A-rated attractions for free until April 14.
Discounts on flights and hotels have also helped encourage people to travel. Flights to cities including Beijing and Shanghai as well as Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, and Chengdu, Sichuan province, were hugely discounted during the holiday. For example, an economy class ticket from Beijing to Shanghai was only 170 yuan on Saturday.