Chinese domestic tourism trips down 50% in 2020: official data

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Visitors experience sand sliding in Kumtag Desert in Shanshan County, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 15, 2021. The county sees boom in desert tourism early May.
Photo: Xinhua

2.8 billion trips have been made by Chinese in 2020, down 52.1 percent from the year in 2019, as China made stable recovery of domestic travel market, according to data released by Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday.

In 2020, Chinese people’s spending on cultural and tourism activities exceeded 108 billion yuan ($16.71 billion), an increase of 2.35 billion yuan, or 2.1 percent over the previous year. On average each Chinese individual has spent 77.08 yuan on culture and tourism consumption, up 1.3 percent from 2019.

The recovery rate in cultural and tourism sector is better than expected, especially since the second half of 2020, experts said.

The pandemic has led to changes in new styles of travel patterns, for example, self-driving holidays, short distance trips and duty-free shopping have seen strong growth last year, Zhang Lingyun, a professor of tourism development at Beijing International Studies University told the Global Times on Monday.

It is expected that the pace of tourism recovery this year will accelerate compared with last year thanks for the large-scale vaccination rollouts in the country, experts said.

In May, China saw 230 million domestic trips during May Day holiday, up 119.7 percent from last year, and tied with that in 2019, according to official data.

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