To usher in the Spring Festival holiday, which is typically a lucrative time for tourism revenue, scenic spots in over a dozen provincial-level regions have introduced ticket discounts or even free access to attract tourists. This Spring Festival holiday is set to take place from Feb. 10 to 17 this year.
These regions span from the ice-and-snow tourist hotspot Heilongjiang to the sunny island of Hainan, and from coastal Fujian to the vast, inland region of Xinjiang.
In the southwestern province of Sichuan, for instance, several policies, such as "buy one get one free" for entry to state-owned tourist attractions rated 4A and above, have been implemented until the end of March in Aba, Ganzi and Liangshan -- all autonomous prefectures for ethnic minorities -- as well as the city of Panzhihua.
Free admission is also offered in these areas for state-owned scenic spots rated below 4A, the second-highest rating in China's five-level assessment system for scenic areas.
In east China's Jiangsu, culture and tourism authorities have rolled out an array of initiatives for the eight-day holiday that are intended to benefit locals and tourists alike. They include normal operations of museums, galleries, libraries and other public cultural facilities, as well as free-of-charge policies in prominent tourist attractions such as the Humble Administrator's Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Collective efforts to devise tourist incentives for the Spring Festival holiday are poised to create synergy and boost the tourism economy within each locality while fostering coordinated development across the regions, said Wang Peng, a deputy researcher with the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.
With a longer-than-usual Chinese New Year holiday, it is anticipated that the potential of China's travel market will be further unleashed.
For the upcoming holiday period, data from Ctrip, an online travel platform, shows that bookings for domestic trips have seen a year-on-year growth of over seven times, while outbound and inbound travel orders both have experienced an increase of more than 10 times.
According to the National Immigration Administration, it is estimated that the Chinese mainland will see a daily average of 1.8 million inbound and outbound passenger trips during the Spring Festival holiday, marking an increase of approximately 3.3 times compared to last year and a return to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Businesses in China's tourism industry are intensifying efforts to meet the evolving demands of Chinese travelers. Industry observers point to a dual trend in both domestic and international trips this year -- a surge in ice-and-snow activities and a growing interest in wellness retreats.
"Tailored for Spring Festival family getaways, we've introduced sought-after packages of destinations like France, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Kenya," said Han Jie, CEO of Chinese online travel agency Aoyou.
"In anticipation of the impending travel peak, our company has made early preparations by securing aviation resources and overseas hotel accommodations. This ensures a seamless travel experience for our customers," Han added.
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