Tourists cram to the Bund during the Spring Festival holiday in Shanghai, east China, Jan 29, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING — China’s tourism industry raked in 423.3 billion yuan ($61.7 billion) in revenue during the Lunar New Year holiday, as more affluent people become increasingly keen to travel.
The volume marked a year-on-year increase of 15.9 percent, according to calculations by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
During the seven-day holiday, which ends on Feb 2, some 344 million visitor trips were made, up 13.8 percent from the same period last year.
The CNTA previously expected that China would see 344 million visitor trips during the holiday.
Overseas travel gains increasing popularity. Some 6.15 million Chinese people travelled abroad during the holiday, up 7 percent year on year.
The travel peak fell on Jan 27, the first day of the seven-day holiday, which saw 50.5 million visitor trips, up 10.4 percent year on year.
During the New Year holiday, hundreds of millions of people go back to their hometowns to meet relatives and old friends, and in recent years, family travels have become increasingly common that help to drive a tourism boom across the country.
China’s domestic tourism industry earned about 3.9 trillion yuan in 2016, and the country plans to raise tourism revenue to 7 trillion yuan by 2020.
The nation will work to develop tourism into a major driver of economic transformation and upgrading. By 2020, investment in tourism is expected to grow to 2 trillion yuan, and the sector will contribute more than 12 percent of GDP, according to a State Council five-year tourism plan (2016-2020).