China’s National Day is around the corner. This seven-day holiday (also known as the Golden Week) is a peak time for travel during the year. However, due to the pandemic and power restriction, China expects to see a drop in tourists this year. While railway passengers are estimated to remain at the level of the previous year, road and air travellers are likely to decrease by 5% and 40% respectively, according to Chinese authorities.
As time gets closer to the Golden Week holiday, around 30 provinces and municipalities have requested people to stay local and reduce the chance of another Covid-19 outbreak. Since the Delta Variant was first discovered in the country in May, China has seen many strict local rules released on testing and self-isolation. As of yesterday, 41 areas are still on the medium and high-risk list – people from those areas will mostly be required to show negative test results and to quarantine when travelling to other provinces. This inevitably results in fewer long-distant trips and fewer airline bookings, with an estimated 8.5 million air travellers, decreasing by 57.1% from last year.
Apart from the prolonged pandemic, China’s recent power restriction also stops people from travelling as usual. Some enterprises affected by the recent power cut in Jiangsu province have started their holiday three days earlier than the rest of the country so that they can follow the local government’s order of only opening the factories on certain weekdays.