In the past week, the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day once again converged to form an eight-day "Super Golden Week" holiday. This is not only a long holiday for family gathering plans, but also an excellent opportunity for people to make plans for sightseeing tours. A total of 826 million domestic passenger trips were made in China during the eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, a year-on-year increase of 71.3 percent and up 4.1 percent from 2019. Holiday tourism generated 753.43 billion Chinese yuan ($104.68 billion), up 129.5 percent year-on-year and a 1.5 percent increase from 2019, official data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed on October 6.
Behind this phenomenon is a trend of people caring more about tourism qualities. As their living standard continues to improve, Chinese people are seeking richer travel experiences. The eight-day holidays have made "in-depth" tours the top choice for many tourists. According to the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Travel Forecast Report released by Ctrip on September 13, the proportion of orders for cross-province tours has reached 73 percent, up by 10 percent compared to the same period last year, and nearly 20 percent of customers chose to stay for three or more consecutive days.
October is the perfect time for golden autumn scenery, and destinations such as China's Xinjiang, Gansu, and Inner Mongolia are attracting tourists. In response to the challenge of peak traffic during this season, popular cities and emerging attraction sites are increasing their tourism products and services, and continuously upgrading the quality of their tourism services in order to create a satisfactory environment for tourists.
This week, Alashan Right Banner in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has attracted thousands of people to participate in cultural activities such as music festivals, different cuisines, and all kinds of competitions. Many off-road enthusiasts from all over the country gather in the beautiful Badanjilin Desert to experience the passion and charm of the event and enjoy the colorful folk customs. As a consequence, hotels, restaurants, transportation, and other related industries have all gained growth and boosted the local tourism industry.
The combination of cultural tourism and sports tourism has become a trend. Earlier this year, the heated "Village BA" Basketball Tournament and "Village Super" Soccer League held in Tai Pan village and Rongjiang county in Guizhou Province, have demonstrated the ability to light up people's passion.
In addition to the folk events in full swing, the Chengdu 2021 Summer World University Games, the Hangzhou Asian Games, and other international events also provide an excellent window of opportunity for humanistic exchanges. The ongoing 19th Asian Games is attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists to Hangzhou to experience the exhilarating sports arena and the rich culture of southern China.
After the opening of the Asian Games, Hangzhou's tourism is on the rise, and the subway has become the preferred choice of travel for tourists. 22 stations in the Hangzhou Metro network provide access to the Asian Games venues. Data shows that among the top five stations with the fastest growing passenger flow in the Metro network, three stations are adjacent to Asian Games venues. Among them, the Metro Expo Center Station has a passenger flow growth rate of 125.11 percent compared with Labor Day on May 1 this year.
Meanwhile, China's outbound travel market has shown a trend of steady recovery. In August, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced the third batch of countries and regions that resumed outbound group tours, and travel fever in major outbound destinations around the world rose rapidly. The outbound travel market did not heat up quickly until the summer phase due to the time cycle required for travel planning and visa processing.
As the first long holiday after the basic full liberalization of outbound travel, the Golden Week ushered in a peak in passenger traffic. According to the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Travel Forecast Report released by Ctrip, the overall year-on-year growth of outbound travel bookings is nearly 20 times. Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore appear to be the popular destinations, and the bookings for air tickets and hotels have far exceeded last year's Golden Week.
Just like the aggregate economy, the tourism industry is also facing challenges. After the downturn in the previous two years, how to increase the supply of quality tourism products and services, and stimulate the demand of domestic and foreign tourists are key issues that the tourism industry needs to address.
On the other hand, a huge variety of innovative cross-border products like cultural tourism, sports tourism, and rural tourism have emerged and boosted the domestic tourism market. The diversified products and integration of various theater festivals, art festivals, sports events, and rural scenic spots not only attract a wider group of tourists, but also increase the added value of tourism, and create real growth in local tourism consumption.
With China's announcement of reopening after COVID-19, Chinese tourists are gradually returning to the global tourism market. As the world's largest exporter of outbound travelers, China's tourism liberalization policy and huge market potential will accelerate the recovery of the global tourism industry.