Villagers participate in a dragon boat race to celebrate the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 3, in Mindang village, Hefu township, Nanxun district, Huzhou city of Zhejiang province, on June 1, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING – China will see a rebound in railway passenger trips during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday travel rush from Thursday to Sunday, the China State Railway Group Co, Ltd (China Railway) said Thursday.
During the period, average daily railway passenger trips are expected to reach 5.4 million, up 2 million trips per day from the May Day holiday, China Railway said.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the Duanwu Festival, is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, the holiday runs from Friday to Sunday
Starting on Wednesday, the railway authority adjusted the pre-sale period of railway tickets to 15 days from 5 days, as the Omicron outbreak has largely been brought under control.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the Duanwu Festival, is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, the holiday runs from Friday to Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has loosened tourism restrictions to help boost the sector's recovery during the festival.
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The ministry said in a notice released on Tuesday that a more scientific and precise pandemic control measure for travel agencies' group tour services will be implemented. Travel agencies are required to suspend group tour services in counties or districts with medium or high infection risks, and this also applies to services for booking hotels and flight tickets.
Previously, travel agencies were required to suspend cross-provincial tourism services when the departure or destination provinces had places of medium or high infection risk. Now the restriction has been narrowed just to counties and districts.
The cross-provincial tourism suspension started from August 2021, after the central departments tightened control measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. The adjustment was soon welcomed by the tourism market and members of the public who were not able to travel due to the pandemic.
The latest figures from Tuniu, an online travel agency, show that orders for long-distance trips for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival on its platform increased by 71 percent on Tuesday alone.
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Customers in Nanjing, Jiangsu province; Zhengzhou, Henan province, and Xi'an in Shaanxi province show the strongest demand to take a long-distance tour over the three-day break, which begins on Friday.
Other travel agencies have also given strong figures showing people's wish to travel during the three-day break as the sporadic COVID outbreaks have been brought under control.
Trip.com Group, another online travel agency, said that tour packages to northwestern areas such as Gansu province and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region rose to become among the most popular choices for users on its platform during the holidays.
Camping tours remain among the bestsellers on online travel platforms. Qunar said that orders for camping sites for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday rose by 60 percent year-on-year on its platform. People from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and Chongqing have shown the greatest interest in camping.
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The Ministry of Culture and Tourism gave some tips to remind travelers of their health during the trips. The ministry suggested travelers check the destination's epidemic control policies before departure and follow the policies while they are traveling. Those who feel uncomfortable or have symptoms of coughing or high fever should suspend their trip and go to a hospital.