Creaders.net reported that China ended the operation of its digital travel tool on December 13. Since then, Chinese people’s travel sentiment immediately surged, with an air booking increase of 8.5 times.

The travel tracking system was put into use in 2020 as part of the nation’s zero-COVID measures. It aims to track people’s cross-city movements, enabling local authorities to take targeted precautions against potential contagion risks.

The operator said the system was deactivated under an order from the State Council. 

Learning about the news, residents tend to find ways to travel. The search for cross-province travel services during the Spring Festival from China’s online travel platforms, such as Ctrip, Tuniu, and GoWhere.com, rose 12 times compared to last week.

Similarly, airline ticket bookings jumped 8.5 times, with popular destinations including Shanghai, Changchun, and Shenzhen.

The average number of flights in the nation’s 14 largest airports doubled. Among them, Beijing’s two major airports experienced 3-fold growth. The highest traffic growth was seen in Urumqi airport, with a more than 400% increase.

Airfares have gradually returned to their pre-pandemic levels, with economy class tickets from Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and other cities to Sanya, Kunming, and other tourist cities. Chen Qiankang, a professor at the School of History and Tourism of Sichuan Normal University, pointed out that the actual recovery of the tourism industry is expected in the spring of next year. This is because the impact of the pandemic, residents’ income problems, and anti-pandemic mentality are still in place. It is unlikely that the tourism industry will burst into flames in the short term.

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