China’s cross-border travel over the Golden Week holiday has recovered to 85% of the pre-pandemic level

A woman poses for photos among tourists visiting the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China on the National Day holiday in Beijing, China on October 1, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lu/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

SHANGHAI, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Domestic and outbound flights in China rose during the eight-day Golden Week holiday this year, recovering to 85% of their pre-pandemic level but lower than previous government estimates, official data showed on Saturday.

The National Immigration Administration said the average number of daily inbound and outbound passenger flights reached 1.477 million during the longer-than-usual holiday period, as the Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with the National Day holiday this year, which ended on Friday.

The administration said that this is equivalent to 85.1% of the average number of trips made in the same period in 2019, and nearly four times the average in 2022. The company had previously said that it expects an average of 1.58 million daily round-trip passenger trips. During vacation.

A rebound in international travel by Chinese tourists will be a boon to many tourism-dependent businesses around the world.

Before COVID-19, mainland Chinese tourists spent more than those of any other country when abroad, bringing in a total of $255 billion in 2019, with group tours estimated at about 60% of that.

Booking platforms and agencies say Chinese tourists looking to travel abroad are preferring cheaper Asian destinations, with Thailand being by far the preferred choice after it introduced a visa waiver programme.

Spending on domestic flights during the holiday also exceeded the pre-pandemic level, with an average spending of 911.6 yuan ($124.86) per trip, according to Reuters calculations based on government data published on Friday.

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This compares to 830.8 yuan per trip in 2019 when the holiday was seven days long, and 680.6 yuan last year.

Travelers made 826 million trips within mainland China, 71.3% higher than last year and 4.1% higher than in 2019, according to data released by the official Xinhua News Agency.

(This story has been corrected to show that flights have recovered to 85% of the 2019 level, and have not exceeded that level, in the headline and paragraphs 1 and 3)

Report from Shanghai newsroom; Edited by Robert Birsel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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