Tickets for everything from domestic flights to theme parks are rapidly selling out in China ahead of its Labor Day holiday as the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic gathers pace, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
Bookings for seats on planes, hotel rooms and car rentals over the five-day break starting Saturday have all surged, surpassing those for the same period in 2019, according to Trip.com Group Co. People will make an estimated 200 million overall trips, a record for the national holiday, and tickets for Shanghai Disneyland have also sold out for most days.
China’s early success in tackling the pandemic has helped to underpin its economic rebound, and while the Asian nation has had the odd virus flare-up around other holidays this year, its ability to contain sporadic outbreaks has given millions of people the confidence to stick to their domestic travel plans.
Congestion on the nation’s highways is expected to be 10% higher than the same Labor Day holiday period in 2020, according to estimates by map service company AutoNavi. Saturday is projected to be the busiest day of the break, with a record volume of traffic on China’s roads.
Bookings for seats on planes, hotels and car rentals were up 23%, 43% and 126%, respectively, compared with same period in 2019, according to estimates from Trip.com on April 14. Online tickets for the Palace Museum in Beijing were all sold out, while those for Shanghai Disneyland were only available on one of the five days as of Thursday, according to its Wechat ticketing system.
The desire to travel over the holiday is forcing some to make alternative plans after missing out on tickets. Victor Li, a 32-year-old investment manager, has decided to drive to Taiyuan from Beijing to visit his family after train seats sold out. The trip will take seven hours by car, compared with three by rail.