Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Festival, took place on April 4. The three-day holiday is traditionally spent returning to a family’s hometown to visit the graves of their ancestors and offer sacrifices. However, nowadays, many families consider it as a perfect opportunity to travel.
Last year’s Qingming Festival took place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with people forced to stay at home. However, this year saw domestic tourism return to 94.5% of the pre-pandemic level during the festival, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Residents made 102 million trips within China during the three-day holiday, bringing in 27.17 billion RMB ($4.15 billion) revenue.
According to the “2021 Ctrip Spring Travel Big Data Report”, total bookings for Qingming Festival increased by 300% year-on-year. Many businesses reached their highest capacity this year for the first time. The ten cities which received the most hotel bookings on travel agent Ctrip were: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Xi’an, and Suzhou.
Yet, the tourism industry is still recovering from the impact of COVID-19 and the total revenue during Qingming amounted to just 56.7% of that before the pandemic. Due to the reduction in prices of tourism destinations and travel, and the imbalance in demand towards short-distance tourism, China still has some way to go until tourism makes a full recovery.