Chinese officials are reportedly encouraging citizens to get out and adventure in a “revenge travel” pitch to revive tourism and boost the economy, following months of lockdowns and restrictions in the fight against COVID-19.
Starting Thursday, about 550 million people are expected to travel for China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival – and keep moving through the eight-day Golden Week, The Guardian reports.
Passengers wait for their trains at Hankou Railway Station one day before the eight-day National Day holiday on September 30 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. (Hu Jinli/VCG via Getty Images)
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The term “revenge travel” has been frequently featured in Chinese media as of late, with Quartz defining the concept as “the government’s hope that people will travel or consume more than they usually do… because of pent-up demand from being cooped up.”
Visitors crowd the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing, China, on Oct. 1. (Yan Cong/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Photos published by Getty on Wednesday and Thursday show crowds at a train station in Wuhan, the Great Wall in Beijing, and the Leshan Giant Buddha.
According to the South China Morning Post, 15 million flights are expected to take off between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, while hotel bookings for Golden Week have jumped 50%, per Reuters.
China celebrates National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1 with an eight-day holiday this year. (Yan Cong/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“The demand on tourism that was suppressed for nine months will probably be released in these eight days,” a spokesperson for Trip.com speculated.
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Tourists visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the first day of the eight-day National Day holiday on October 1. (Liu Zhongjun/China News Service via Getty Images)
Over 500 “scenic locations” are offering free or reduced admission to draw visitors, the Guardian reports, as officials hope that consumer spending and travel during the holiday week will herald an improving economy. The Chinese state-run newspaper Economic Information Daily called this year’s Golden Week a “critical battle” for the tourism industry at large.
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Nevertheless, tourism will inevitably look a bit different than years past due to the pandemic; nearly 800 million people reportedly traveled in China during Golden Week in 2019.