What Domestic Travel Trends Will China See this Summer Holiday?

By Alistair Baker-Brian, July 15, 2022

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China’s summer holidays, or 暑假 (shujia), have already arrived. The holiday period usually runs from the beginning of July until the end of August or beginning of September. 

Like anywhere else in the world, China’s summer holiday period is a chance for families and individuals to get away, soak up the sun and perhaps explore somewhere a little different. 

International travel is still off the cards for most of us as anti-epidemic travel restrictions remain in place (not to mention the exorbitant cost of a flight back into China). 

That means that for many, exploring more of China is still the best option. 

READ MORE: How COVID-19 Changed China's Travel Market

While some may be put off from domestic travel by the ever-looming threat of quarantine – among other restrictions – others may take comfort from some changes to China’s Travel Code app (行程卡). 

The dreaded star, which indicated a user had recently traveled to a destination in which there were COVID-19 risk areas, has been removed for good. 

READ MORE: No More Dreaded Star On China's Travel Code App  

Meanwhile, the Travel Code shows only seven days of travel history, whereas it used to show 14 days. 

READ MORE: Travel Code History Reduced from 14 to 7 Days

COVID-19 restrictions are very much still in place, but at least the aforementioned changes might take some of the stress out of your summer vacation. Will this encourage more people to take a trip this summer? We’ll wait and see. 

There are already signs that this summer holiday may see a boost for domestic tourism, as reported by China News Net. Restrictions on inter-provincial travel have been relaxed. Meanwhile, China Railway stated that they expect to see around 520 million train trips over the summer holidays, with 10 million passengers per day during peak times. 

Data from travel company Mafengwo gives an insight into some of China’s domestic tourism trends during the summer holiday period of 2021. 

Figures show that parts of Eastern China (think Hangzhou, Shanghai, etc.) and Southwest China (think Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, etc.) are still the most popular regions to travel to over the summer period.   

However, there was also a boost in travel to Northeast China and Dongbei (think Harbin, Changbai Mountain, etc.) of 65% compared with the same period in 2020, ranking top in terms of year-on-year increase. 

North China (Beijing, Inner Mongolia, etc.) and Northwest China (Xinjiang, Gansu, etc.) ranked second and third for year-on-year increase, with travel up by 50% and 43%, respectively. 

So where – if anywhere – will you be heading to this summer holiday? 

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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