China’s National Day: Hundreds of millions go on holiday at the same time after Kovid-19

China's National Day: Hundreds of millions go on holiday at the same time after Kovid-19

Hong Kong (CNN) – China is on the move again. As October 1 approaches, hundreds of millions of people are expected to pack up highways, trains and planes for the National Day holiday, one of the busiest in the world’s most populous country. It’s time.

The eight-day break is China’s first major holiday since it emerged Coronavirus Outbreak. Although life has returned to normal in recent months, the coming “Golden Week” holiday will be a significant test of China’s success in combating the virus – and its long-awaited economic recovery.
Last year, total 782 million domestic trips According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, created during the holiday, generated revenue of about 650 billion yuan (95 billion).

During the National Day holiday in 2019, visitors flock to the Lishan Giant Buddha in China’s Sichuan Province.

Liu Zhongjun / China News Service / VCG / Getty Images

Ministry Prophecy There will be 550 million domestic trips this year, while Citrip, China’s largest travel online travel agency, estimates that number has increased. 600 million – Both above 70% of last year’s level.
The scale of the people’s movement in such a short period of time is unimaginable in many parts of the world, where governments are still struggling to control growing infections. In the United States, the number of cases of coronavirus over the weekend is over 7 million. Many Europeans are in the grip now A second wave Of infection; Large survivors of the first wave, such as Greece and Croatia, have also taken summer vacations since the reopening of Europe’s internal borders in June.

But for now, the virus is of little concern to Chinese holidaymakers, despite its proximity to China, local broadcasts and some of the world’s toughest border control measures.

Chen Qianmi, 29, from the southern city of Guangzhou, left for Shanghai on Tuesday for her vacation. He said he was not worried about the virus, although he still took precautions.

“I think China (the virus) is under very good control,” he said. “I wear a mask to clean my hands and bring alcohol wipes with me, especially before meals – although in Shanghai, fewer people now wear masks.”

Demonstration of faith

The coronavirus, which was discovered in December last year before spreading around the world in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has been at sea in much of China since March. In the months that followed, small-to-large footsteps erupted several times – from the country’s northeast to the capital Beijing and the far western region of Xinjiang, but were quickly incorporated by all sharp lockout measures and public testing programs.

China has not reported any locally transmitted symptoms since mid-August and is closely monitoring the risk of exposure to workers arriving abroad. Last week, it detected its first local asymptomatic infections in more than a month, when two port workers in Qingdao tested positive for the virus in a routine check after selling frozen seafood.

Two residents walk in an empty park during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Two residents walk in an empty park during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 27 in Wuhan, China.

Strong / Getty Images

The sense of control is the exact opposite of the anxiety and hindrance that has given China the last major trip period – the Lunar New Year holiday in late January. At the time, the coronavirus outbreak was spreading in Wuhan when local authorities initially silenced healthcare workers in an attempt to sound the alarm. Two days before Lunar New Year’s Day, the Chinese government ordered an unprecedented lockout of the city, but by then, the virus had already spread to other provinces and the country, as millions of Chinese people joined their families. Were or were on vacation abroad.

After more than eight months, China’s restrictions on the domestic movement have all been lifted. Officially, In some cities travelers still need green products Health code At railway stations and airports on their smartphones to indicate that they are safe to travel, but in practice may be.
Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sign of the government’s belief in controlling the virus Said last week Since all cities in mainland China are listed as low risk for coronavirus, domestic travel for upcoming holidays can be arranged “as usual.”

But the center still recommends that travelers follow local epidemic control measures, wear masks on trains, flights and congested areas, and maintain a distance of 1 meter (3.2 feet) in tourist spots. The last of which may be difficult if not impossible to believe, given the size of the crowds that often visit popular sites during the Chinese holidays.

READ  Infection rate, cases and lockdown rules explained

Last week, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism ordered tourist destinations to be limited to 75% during the Golden Week, up from 50% in previous months. To facilitate contact tracing, visitors must register online in advance.

Visitors wearing face masks stand outside the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China on September 3.

Visitors wearing face masks stand outside the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China on September 3.

Haiti Images / AFP / AFP By Getty Images

Wu Xunyu, Chief Epidemiologist of the Chinese CDC, Told State broadcaster CCTV said earlier this month that there was no need to impose additional restrictions on domestic travel during the National Day holiday, as coronaviruses are no longer circulating in society.
“It is now impossible to transmit the virus in a social environment,” he said. He said. “While we are still detecting dozens of import cases of passengers arriving in China on international flights, the imported cases are managed and do not spread to the community, and therefore will not have much impact on domestic residents. . “

Domestic travel boost

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

The Golden Week holiday – along with the Lunar New Year holiday – China’s longest holiday – traditionally sees a large number of middle-class Chinese travel abroad. Last year, over 7 million overseas trips Made during the holidays, with Japan and Thailand among the top places, according to official figures.
Chinese travelers wait for their tour bus on October 2, 2019 in Ginza Shopping District, Tokyo, Japan.

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

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images Asiapack / Getty Images

But this year, traveling abroad will be completely impossible, due to the various visa restrictions and quarantine requirements imposed around the world, as well as the lack of international flights. Upon returning to China, travelers will also face two weeks of strict quarantine – to spend at least half of their time in government-appointed hotels.

The only exception is Macau, which waived different requirements in July for mainland travelers who received a negative test for coronavirus within seven days. Last week, mainland China completely resumed tourist visas for the semi-autonomous region during the National Day holiday.

As Chinese holidaymakers return to their domestic destinations, local governments are competing to attract tourists. According to Ctrip, More than 20 provincial and municipal governments have issued travel vouchers, while about 1,500 tourist destinations across China have offered free or discounted tickets.
The total expectation of China’s railway operator, China State Railway Group 108 million train passengers From September 28 to October 8 8. To cope with the growing demand, an additional 1,200 trains were added to the service, but some tickets on popular routes were somehow lost.
Some flights have also been sold. Kunar, a Chinese travel online travel booking site, Estimate More than 15 million domestic flight tickets will be sold for Golden Week, a 10% increase from 2019, partly due to a drop in flight prices.
And on Chinese highways, huge traffic jams are expected again this year. Of .sat 51 million highway trips According to the Ministry of Transport, per day during the eight-day holiday is expected, an increase of 1% to 3% over the previous year.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists since it was unlocked in April. Last month, the province of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, Announced By the end of the year, about 400 tourist attractions will be open to the public free of charge. More than 3.74 million tickets for tourist destinations in Wuhan were booked in just one month on a booking platform set up by the province following the announcement, according to state-run Hubeli Daily.
The Yellow crane towerOne of Wuhan’s most famous landmarks, according to Strip, tops the list of most wanted attractions for the Golden Week.
Muhammad

About the author: Muhammad

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *