This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival fell on 29 September, right before the “golden week”, a week-long national holiday in China on the occasion of the National Day (1 October), making this year’s holiday 8 days long instead of 7. During this time, from 29 September to 6 October, the country witnessed a boom in tourism, in some cases far exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
According to data from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 826 million domestic trips were made during the 8-day holiday, representing a 71.3% increase compared to last year’s “golden week” and 4.1% more than in 2019. The travel boom generated a revenue of around 753.4 billion yuan (€98.6 billion) for the domestic tourism market, a 129.5% increase compared to 2022 and 1.5% more than during the National Day holiday before the pandemic.
Holiday travel consumption has rebounded significantly, demonstrating the robust growth resilience of the Chinese economy and its promising development prospects.Zhao Xijun, finance professor at Renmin University of China
Over the course of the 8-day holiday, 458 million passenger trips were made in China, averaging at 57.28 million passenger trips per day, a 57.1% increase compared to last year, according to the Ministry of Transport. Of those, trips by plane averaged at 2.14 million a day, a 195% increase from 2022, the number of flights during the holiday surpassing 2019 levels.
Meanwhile, train travel peaked at over 20 million passengers taking to the rails on 29 September. Despite the addition of 100 return train services and 540,000 seats during the holiday period, some popular routes were still in high demand, explained Xu Bin, from China Railway Shenyang Group, in northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Shenyang, the capital of the province, received a total of 12.2 million domestic tourists during the holiday, exceeding the city’s permanent population and needing to implement emergency crowd control measures at certain tourist attractions.
The first day of the holiday period saw 11 times more outbound trips than on the same day last year, the number of cross-border trips made over the 8 days totalling at 11.8 million. Overall, almost 1.48 million entry-exit trips were made per day, representing a 2.9-fold increase compared with the same period in 2022, with the most popular international destinations being Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“Chinese travellers want to explore the world once again and international travellers are eager to return to this amazing country, rich in culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm welcomes”, Julia Simpson, president of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said earlier this year.
Besides spending specifically on travel, retail services also saw a spike during the holiday period, with sales skyrocketing 153% compared to pre-pandemic, making this year’s “golden week” the most profitable one in the past 5 years.
Chinese people were also keen on hitting the cinemas during the holiday period, the country’s box office reporting selling over 65 million tickets, generating a revenue of 2.7 billion yuan (€353.6 million).