China’s Golden Week is finally here! (for the greatest delight of tourism professionals)

Chinese people have been waiting for it all year long. China’s week off starts today, on the first of October. Every year since the proclamation of People’s Republic of China which took place on the first of October 1949, Chinese people celebrate China’s National Day during the first week of the month thanks to vacation granted by the government for more than 10 years. Thus, Chinese take this opportunity to go on holiday: some of them plan to discover new horizons in their own country while others organize a trip abroad.

The flagship destinations of the National Golden Week 2014

Beijing will be the most visited city in China

For Chinese tourists who want to discover their own country, Beijing remains the most famous destination during the Golden Week, according to data from tourism institutions. Thus, China’s capital city registered 13 million tourists during the National Golden Week 2012, with a 22.7% increase compared to the previous year. Tourism revenues for Bejing reached 8.8 billion yuans in 2012, with a 29.4% growth.

The website “Hostels.com” has conducted a study to know the most popular overseas destinations for the Golden Week 2014. Here is the ranking:

1. Taipei
2. Seoul
3. Bangkok
4. Hong Kong
5. Singapore
6. Phuket
7. Tokyo
8. Chiang Mai
9. Paris
10. Koh Samui

Asia remains Chinese tourists’ favorite destination when they benefit from national holidays: 9 Asian cities are ranked in the top 10 of the most often sought destinations on “Hotels.com” by Chinese people between August and September, a period in which they prepare their Golden Week holidays. Paris is at the 9th position: it is therefore the first city which arouses Chinese’s interest when they want to go to another continent.

Europe attracts more and more Chinese tourists

European cities are increasingly present in Chinese tourists’ program when they plan to go abroad, and especially in this Golden Week period. Compared to last year, search for Rome on the website “Hotels.com” registered a 116% growth, 98% for Florence, 44% for London and 34% for Paris.

A week of high consumption

Chinese consume more during the Golden Week. According to Ting Lu, a Chinese economist from the Bank of America: “Chinese people travel and spend more money during this week, because despite the reduction in GDP growth, the unemployment has not risen, the price of housing has not fallen, and China continue to grow relatively quickly. In spite of numerous complaints, Chinese consumers continue to trust the growth of their country.”

The most famous China’s tourist sites are overcrowded

With the explosion of tourism in China, tourist guides strongly discourage this period to visit China, as the Chinese New Year period: the most famous tourist sites are overcrowded, full of Chinese tourists, and prices are soaring. This influx of tourists obviously raises problems, especially environmental degradation.

Here are some photos taken during the previous Golden Week as a proof of the saturation of China’s tourist sites:

Golden Week

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Golden Week

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The promising future of tourism in China and the potential of Chinese tourists

China aims at becoming the world’s tourism leader in terms of turnover. This growth is mainly due to the development of domestic tourism. Chinese tourists represent a very promising customer base, for their own country as well as foreign countries. The annual number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad is expected to reach more than 100 million, making China the world’s leading country in terms of travelers.

More articles about the Golden Week and Chinese tourists here: