During every major holiday in China, millions of Chinese tourists pack into trains to head to their home towns. A growing number of middle to upper class, Chinese are wisely choosing to avoid the crowds and head overseas.
China’s 2016 Golden week holiday starts today, sparking one of the world’s largest mass movements by plane, boat and train.
Regarding overseas lures, Singaporean merchants are beckoning Chinese shoppers with discounts and promotions. Over in South Korea, they are offering a month-long ‘Korea Grand Sale’.
A hawker in Seoul’s Myeongdong area told Reutuers that he’s been preparing since July: “We are expecting many Chinese tourists, so we assume sales will increase”.
Meanwhile, in Thailand, the forecast calls for 220,000 Chinese visitors during Golden week, 30 percent from last year. This, despite a doubling of visa fees.
Domestic Chinese travel nightmare
During the 2015 Golden Week holiday period, an estimated 750 million people (more than half of China’s population,) took trips, according to state media figures. On the first day of the holiday alone, there were 12.5 million train passengers.
It is reported that the China National Tourism Administration is attempting to stagger public holidays, in order to reduce the pressure on the country’s transport and tourism infrastructure in future. Unfortunatly, it is only in the planning stage, with no changes expected for at least a decade.