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Domestic tourism thrives, revenues up

Cheng Si
Updated: Feb 23,2018 7:13 AM     China Daily

The number of domestic trips by tourists hit a record high of 386 million, a year-on-year increase of 12.1 percent, during the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, according to a report released on Feb 21 by the China National Tourism Administration.

Revenue generated during the holiday reached 475 billion yuan ($75 billion), 12.6 percent above the 2017 mark, the report said.

The top 10 domestic destinations were Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Henan, Anhui, Shandong, Hubei and Zhejiang provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Holiday travel packages and destinations featuring blessing and praying activities, temple fairs and traditional cuisine — for example, Qianfoshan, a Buddhism-themed destination in Jinan, Shandong province — have seen high demand from travelers, according the report.

Winter sports and leisure activities, including skiing, hot spring bathing and ice sculpture exhibitions have been warmly received.

Jilin province, famous for its snow scenery, received more than 12 million visitors during the Spring Festival break, drawing revenues of 12 billion yuan. Thirty-three hot spring resorts in Guizhou province attracted more than 360,000 visitors during the holiday, drawing revenue of 170 million yuan, the report said.

Self-guided tours have become popular alternatives, it said. More than 50 percent of Chinese families took a self-planned trip during the seven-day break, and high-quality services were emphasized over low prices.

Infrastructure construction — toilets for example — was a concern of travelers on tours. Local authorities at travel destinations have pushed the so-called toilet revolution forward, offering travelers a clean and smart environment.

Huashan Scenic Spot in Shaanxi province has been equipped with 13 smart toilets without water. The government of Yunnan province built the first smart washroom in Dafosi, Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, where travelers can see how many toilets are available through a mobile app.

Celebration activities associated with the traditional Lunar New Year have become highlights for foreigners visiting China during the seven-day break.

More than 200 foreign visitors from the United States, France and Australia were invited by the local government of Shaanxi province to a perch on Xi’an’s city wall to enjoy the New Year’s parade on Feb 18.