2011 Spring Festival Holiday Winds Up

Tuesday, February 8, is the last day of China's week-long holiday for the 2011 Spring Festival. Most travelers should have returned from their trips, for either family union or sightseeing vacations, to go back to work on Wednesday.

Localities across the country report notable increases in tourist activities. The jump in number of tourists received and revenue generated in provinces and cities such as Chongqing, Shandong and Nanjing are expected to reach 20% over the same period last year. In Qingdao, Harbin and Kunming, the expansion is over 10%. Traditionally popular travel destinations such as Beijing see smaller increases, below 10%. Shanghai, which hosted an world expo earlier this year, experiened an rebound, with a 16% higher tourist activity during the Spring Festival holiday this year.

Large numbers of people decided to spend their wintryholiday in the warm cities and provinces of South China. Hotel occupancy rates in Sanya, Xiamen and Xishuangbanna (Sipsongpana, Yunnan) were as high as 80-90%.

In North China, people took advantage of cold weather and engaged in snow-ice-themed celebrations, especially in the northeastern provinces and Inner Mongolia. Visits to warm srpings also became popular.

There was also an increasse in the number of Chinese who spent their Spring Festival outside mainland China. Over 67,000 Beijing residents went on vacations abroad, as did 15,000 Chinese from Chongqing. On the single day of February 5, over 180,000 Chinese went through the border crosses of Shenzhen to visit Hong Hong.

After the Spring Festival, the next nationwide public holiday in China will be April 3-5, for Qingming or Remembrance Day.