The May 1 holiday in China (literally called wu yi 5.1) was established in 1918 but only with the advent of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 did it become an official holiday.
Initially the government had established that the days of rest for this anniversary were 4, but then in 2008 the days of rest from work were reduced to only one due to the inclusion of new holidays in the Chinese calendar, namely: the Qingmingjie, Dragon Boats and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Only in 2019 were the 4 days of vacation restored for this anniversary and from 2020 a further fifth day was added. The addition of this rest day allowed the tourism sector to increase its earnings as many more Chinese chose to travel around the country and abroad.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, the difference in days of rest did not have much impact on the budgets of the tourism sector which instead saw the numbers of the online-tour sector grow, a project launched by the government which provided for virtual visits to the major monuments of national interest .
This year, however, the next holiday of May 1st is seen as a springboard for re-launching the tourism sector, the holidays will run from April 29th to May 3rd.
The first data recorded by the most popular tourism platforms such as Ctrip, Qunar and Tuniu report that bookings have grown dramatically compared to 2022.
Hotels are already sold out and group travel is fully booked. In Mafengwo’s advance bookings for vacations, more than 70 percent are for long-distance travel. Bookings for long-distance travel in Yunnan, Hainan, Sichuan and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions during the holidays increased 15 times compared to the previous 5 days. Domestic bookings for the five-day May Day holiday in Meituan increased 200% from 2019 as of April 10. Searches for overseas airline tickets for vacations increased nine-fold compared to the previous year. Overseas island travel has become the most popular destination for young people on five-day vacations. The search for outbound travel products on the Tongcheng Travel website increased by 42% compared to the previous week. Singapore, the Maldives and Thailand see a sevenfold increase in bookings for the May Day holiday.
“The pent-up desire to travel will be released during the May Day holiday, with both domestic and overseas destinations benefiting from the huge demand for travel and consumption,” said Fang Zexi, an analyst at the country’s leading online travel agency, Trip.com Group.
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