Better prices, services boost holiday travel in China

File photo showing tourists visiting the Great wall in Beijing. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Nearly 730 million trips were made by Chinese travellers within China over the seven-day National Day holiday that ended on Sunday (Oct 7), a year-on-year increase of 9.43 per cent, thanks to cheaper tickets and higher-quality travel services, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The figure was even more impressive, given the fact that National Day 2017 overlapped with the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Travel and tourism-related revenue tallied between last Monday and Sunday hit nearly 600 billion yuan (S$120 billion), up 9.04 per cent compared with 2017.

The ministry said that 981 state-level attractions lowered ticket prices, while 74 were free to the public prior to the travel boom during the break.

Nearly 290 state-level attractions in Shandong province offered free entry, while 133 offered reduced ticket prices.

Visits to Yellow Crane Tower, Wudang Mountain and Shennongjia National Nature Reserve in Hubei province saw a sharp increase over the holiday due to lower prices, while the Three Gorges Dam was rated as one of the most popular attractions among venues offering free entry.

Food combo packages were also introduced to help improve travel experiences.

Mount Laojun in Luoyang, Henan province, offered one yuan meals featuring noodles, sausages and steamed buns to travellers over the break, People's Daily reported last Thursday.

Mr Gao Hong, a manager of the company running the Mount Laojun tourist venue, said that it is not easy for travellers to have meals at the mountain, given the climbing required and fickle weather conditions.

"The attraction is crowded during holidays, making it harder for visitors to have meals. We felt embarrassed seeing travellers consume just bread and water," he said.

"Now our food is cooked by our staff members and it's not a burden for us."

The ministry said that quality travel services were also available to travellers during the holiday.

Fifty-four booths were set up in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, offering free travel information and services, including mobile phone charging.

Four new transfer points opened during the seven-day break in Yangzhou to make it easier for travellers to park cars and transfer to buses.

Free sightseeing buses were also made available.

Tourist attractions, according to the ministry, received 122 million visits on just the first day of the seven-day break, up 7.54 per cent year-on-year, with revenue increasing by 7.19 per cent to 103 billion yuan.

The flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing attracted about 145,000 travellers on Oct 1, the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, according to the Beijing Commission of Tourism Development.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.