On November 16, many travel platforms ushered in the peak of browsing and searching. On November 15, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the “Notice on Further Optimizing the Prevention and Control Measures of the New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic to Scientifically and Accurately Do a Good Job in the Cultural and Tourism Industry”, and inter-provincial tourism operations will no longer be managed in conjunction with risk areas.
Pan Yongtao, associate professor of the Department of Tourism and Exhibition Management, School of Tourism and Geographical Sciences, Qingdao University, told the People’s Daily Health client, “The release of the “Notice” is the further implementation of the State Council’s 20 measures to optimize epidemic prevention and control work in the cultural and tourism industry, and promote culture and tourism. The industry’s prevention and control work is more scientific and precise.”
According to data from Ctrip, after the release of the “Notice”, the search volume for inter-provincial travel products on the platform has reached its peak since the National Day holiday, and the search volume for independent travel products has more than doubled from the previous day. Within an hour after the news was released, searches for the same journey travel platform and group tour products rose rapidly, up more than 600% from the same period the day before. The search volume of transportation products such as air tickets and train tickets also increased accordingly, with an increase of 182% and 97% respectively.
According to Mafengwo data, after the news was released, the search volume of destinations and related tourism products on the site increased by more than 150% compared with the previous day. Among them, Changbai Mountain, Xishuangbanna, Sanya, Harbin, and Yanji are among the top five destinations with the largest increase. Skiing in the north or sheltering from the cold in the south are popular choices for tourists to travel in winter. With the “opening” of major ski resorts one after another, the ski resorts led by Changbai Mountain have received the most attention. The popularity has risen by more than 200% from the previous day, and the average popularity in the past week has also increased by 120%, showing a continuous upward trend.
Inter-provincial travel is no longer linked to risk areas, will “retaliatory tourism” appear? Wang Qiyan, director of the Leisure Economics Research Center of Renmin University of China, said in an interview with the People’s Daily Health client on November 16, “We are cautiously optimistic about retaliatory growth, and cross-provincial travel is no longer linked to risk areas. It is good for the tourism industry. It is self-evident. The long-suppressed tourism demand of tourists is true, but in terms of demand, time and the form of the epidemic, which constitute the rigid conditions for tourism, the tourism industry will not experience retaliatory growth.”
He further explained that, first, during the shutdown period of the epidemic, most companies and individuals “only spend money and do not make money”. If tourism consumption declines, tourism demand will shrink, and the so-called retaliatory rebound will be difficult to achieve. Second, in terms of time, tourism is seasonal, even for those with strong travel needs, they still need to wait for a suitable holiday. The third is that tourists will also have avoidance, suspicion, fear and other psychology towards crowded places, so there will be no retaliatory growth.
Pan Yongtao said, “In the long run, this is definitely good news for the domestic tourism industry, but the implementation of inter-provincial travel still needs to be determined by the actual implementation of each region.”
In Wang Qiyan’s view, it will still take some time for the real recovery of inter-provincial travel. “Tourists’ travel confidence is still in the process of recovery. If the situation is optimistic, it is expected that the tourism business will return to the pre-epidemic level in May next year.” (End)