Research by ForwardKeys has shown that domestic air travel in China during New year Golden Week had dropped by 69 percent as compared to the same period in 2019. February 11-17th is one of the busiest times of the year for all Chinese travellers. Domestic travel a fortnight before these dates was down by 62 percent. This period is usually busy for Chinese citizens returning home to spend the occasion with their families.
Beijing and Shanghai saw a steep decline in tourist numbers
Different destinations within China were compared to see the effect of the pandemic on domestic travel during the New Year. Sanya suffered the least when it came to tourism numbers; it received 66 percent as many visitors as it did in 2019. Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan received 41 percent as many travellers as it did in 2019. Travel to China’s two most important cities, Beijing and Shanghai suffered the most owing to mini Covid-19 outbreaks and associated travel restrictions. Northern destinations renowned for their winter sports also suffered because of a resurgence of the virus during the winter months.
Olivier Ponti, vice president, insights, ForwardKeys, commented: “From a travel perspective, this Chinese New Year has been dreadful.Excluding Sanya, no major destination in China managed to get close to half the number of domestic visitors it received in 2019; and only four major destinations managed to reach two fifths. However, the situation could have been much worse had it not been for a surge in last minute bookings, owing to a loosening of travel restrictions.”