Jun 29, 2020 07:51 PM

Domestic Tourism Revenue Down 69% During Dragon Boat Festival

Tourists visit Hangzhou's West Lake scenic area on the second day of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, June 26.
Tourists visit Hangzhou's West Lake scenic area on the second day of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, June 26.

Tourism is gradually recovering across China, but the latest statistics from the Dragon Boat Festival holiday show that Covid-19 continues to take a toll on the industry.

During this year’s three-day public holiday that ended Saturday, domestic travel generated about 1.23 billion yuan ($177 million) nationwide, down 69% from the holiday period in 2019, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Travelers made 48.8 million domestic trips over the holiday, 49% less than during the same period the previous year.

About 80% of the country’s scenic spots had reopened by June 22, according to the ministry. However, since the government allowed these tourist destinations to be reopened, authorities have capped the number of daily visitors at 30% of full capacity and have required them to make reservations in advance.

According to data from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-backed online travel agency Fliggy, the number of people traveling in China during the three-day holiday was 40% lower than the same period last year.

Despite the damage the coronavirus has done to tourism revenue, there has been a gradual recovery in the industry. In June, the total number of hotel reservations grew 15% from the previous month, while transportation bookings rose 13%, according to data from online travel site

One exception is Beijing, where the tourism industry has taken a hit because of a flare-up of Covid-19 that started in mid-June. Incoming visitors made 1.35 million trips during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, generating 72.4 million yuan, according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism. Both figures were down more than 70% from the same period in 2019.

Visitors made 13,300 trips to the city’s outskirts during the holiday, down 93.5% from the same period the previous year, according to the bureau.

Contact reporter Isabelle Li ( and editor Michael Bellart (

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