China sees robust travel, tourism demand during New Year’s Day holiday

BEIJING (Reuters) – Travel in China flourished over the three-day New Year’s holiday, with 135 million domestic tourist trips, up 155% from last year, while domestic tourism revenue rose to 79.73 billion yuan ($11.23 billion), data released Monday showed.

During the New Year holidays, more than 128 million passenger trips were made on China’s transport network, up 78.4% from 2023 and 33.1% from 2022, according to Ministry of Transport figures reported by state media.

The number of railway passenger trips surged 177.5% year-on-year, and air passenger trips jumped 140.3%, the Global Times reported.

Cold weather across large parts of the country did not deter people from flocking to music festivals and concerts, while group outings of families increased, the government said, adding that the popularity of ice and snow leisure in East China, Central China, South China and other places had increased.

Provinces in the north such as Heilongjiang took advantage of wintry cold, promoting ice and snow tourism and extending the operating hours of key scenic spots, subways and buses, the ministry of culture and tourism said.

Beijing also gave out vouchers to help stimulate holiday demand and spur the economy, as urban ice and snow-themed projects and theme parks have become increasingly important drivers of economic revenue for many cities.

From Saturday to Monday, passenger trips by air were likely to reach 5.19 million trips, 140.3% higher year on year, while journeys on highways and waterways are expected to jump by 46.1% and 72.9% respectively, according to the Ministry of Transport, as reported by state media outlet Xinhua.

($1 = 7.0978 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Gerry Doyle)