National Day holiday has come and gone and, now that the crowds and traffic have
dispersed, the China National Tourism Administration has released statistics
indicating this year’s October ‘Golden Week’ was a record-breaker, with
705 million trips made domestically.
This year’s trip numbers are up 12 percent from last year, according to GRT Radio,
and stand in stark contrast to the 428 million trips made during the National Day
holiday five years ago.
Normally a seven-day holiday, this year’s National Day holiday was extended to eight
days, as it overlapped with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The extra day has been credited
with allowing more people to vacation than in past years.
Other factors responsible for the tourism boom include the ‘free-of-charge policy’
that China implements on its vast highway system during public holidays (read: no tolls)
and the nation’s ever-expanding rail network, according to People.cn.
According to estimates by China Railway Corp, 40 percent of this year’s holiday trips
were made by train. Yesterday, October 8, an additional 920 trains were put into service
by railway authorities to cope with a projected 14 million passengers.
As one would expect, the record number of travelers last week meant big bucks for the
tourism sector, with vacationers estimated to have spent RMB583 billion.
The southern Chinese province of Guangdong received a total of 48 million visitors over
the holiday, an increase of 11 percent, according to GRT Radio. The province also added
RMB38 billion in tourism revenue to its coffers.
In Shanghai, 10.6 million visitors descended on the city, according to Shine, with those
who spent the night spending an average of RMB1,023 per day during their stay – up 2.4 percent.