Chinese holidaymakers face another holiday season ruined by virus outbreaks and controls, with the government’s stringent Covid zero restrictions and fears of infection expected to keep many people at home during the upcoming Labor Day break.
Travel was already down in March, when the biggest Covid-19 outbreak in two years prompted officials to lock down major cities like Shenzhen and block or restrict road traffic to try and stop the transmission of the virus. With millions of Shanghai residents still confined to their homes and restrictions being tightened in several other cities, including in Beijing, for many people travel is on hold for now.
Government officials estimate that passenger traffic over the five-day holiday that begins on Saturday will plunge 62% from last year, road traffic will drop by half and travel by plane could slump 77%. Ctrip said about half of travel bookings made on its online platform are for short-distance trips within provinces, according to a report.
Mapping service of Baidu said travel will drop “significantly” over the holiday and local and city tours are becoming more popular.
Hotel prices in multiple cities including Jinan and Chengdu hit the lowest levels in five years, while prices of some luxury hotels in Beijing, Sanya and other cities are less than half what they were last year, according to data from Qunar, a major online travel agency.
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