BEIJING – With the Golden Week holiday now more than half over, the domestic tourism industry continues to perform robustly.
Statistics issued by the National Holiday Office late on Monday show that 119 resorts throughout the country received more than 4.27 million tourists during the first four days of the Golden Week, a 19 percent increase on last year. Tourism revenue also jumped 36 percent over the same period the preceding year.
Among the scenic spots, there was a 122 percent rise in the number of tourists (60,000) who visited Taishan Mountain in East China’s Shandong province, according to the statistics.
The Huanglong scenic area in Southwest China’s Sichuan province and the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province were second and third in popularity, with 104 percent and 88 percent increases in tourists, the statistics show.
Major travel agencies have launched a series of new tours, covering ecotourism, rural tourism, crop picking, folk travel and even suburban tours, which boosted the market over the National Day holiday period.
The National Holiday Office reported that major tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants ran smoothly over the past four days.
The office also revealed that 5,125 commercial flights took place on Sunday, carrying 730,000 passengers, while 6.26 million people made rail journeys that day, a 38 percent increase on the preceding year.
A large increase was also reported in self-drive tours over the National Day holiday period, with attendant traffic jams.
Many highways around the capital, including the Beijing-Tibet Highway, the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Highway and the Beijing-Chengde Highway, experienced their highest traffic volume on Sunday since the beginning of the holiday period.
The Beijing traffic control bureau reported a gridlock situation on the Beijing-Tibet Highway that lasted from 2 pm to 8 pm on Sunday, with vehicles stretching back nearly 10 kilometers.
The traffic bureau anticipated holiday traffic would peak in Beijing on Monday and recommended that drivers avoid returning to the capital between 3 pm and 7 pm.
The Shanghai World Expo, which started on May 1 and runs until Oct 31, has been another hot spot during the Golden Week holiday. The Expo Garden received 447,500 visitors on Sunday and 431,000 by 9 pm on Monday.
“The Expo will be over within a month. If I didn’t go over the National Day holiday, I would not have had another opportunity,” said Zhou Yun, from Beijing, who described the experience as “amazing”.
According to the official website of the Expo, the total number of visitors to the fair is expected to break 60 million by the end of the holiday period.
Statistics from the Shanghai Holiday Office indicate that the city is likely to receive 8 million tourists over the Golden Week.
With the 2010 Expo in Shanghai, surrounding areas like the towns of Zhouzhuang and Wuzhen were also expected to experience a surge in tourists.