The tourism market in the resort town of Sanya in China’s Hainan province experienced a boom during this year’s National Day Holiday from Oct 1 to 7 (also known as ‘Golden Week’). By analyzing available tourism statistics and other data sources, the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board (STPB) released an analysis of the local tourism market features during the period and it show strong growth.
Safe and convenient close-to-home trips were favored by tourists from within Hainan province due to concerns over the pandemic. Notably, Hainan’s circular high-speed railway has made it easier for tourists from other parts of the province to visit the city conveniently during the holiday. The number of passengers who traveled to Sanya by high-speed rail during the period surged substantially on a year-on-year basis.
Road trips have also become the preferred mode of transportation for Chinese travelers due to the convenience and flexibility. From September 30 to October 6, the percentage of travelers who drove to the city by car increased by 2 percentage points from the same period of 2020.
The warm weather and the numerous roads that crisscross the coastal areas have contributed to the increasing popularity of road trips to Sanya. According to the tourism report for the 2021 Chinese National Day Holiday released by Trip.com on October 7, Sanya ranks first among the most popular Chinese destinations for visitors who travel by car.
- Traditional tourism destinations in and around Sanya have heightened their appeal to travelers by continuously exploring new themes and creating new experiences.
During the Golden Week, Sanya’s natural attractions drew the most visitors, with the number rising 37 percent year on year. The West Island and Fenghuangling (the Phoenix Mountain) saw tourist arrivals increase 40 percent and 318 percent, respectively.
Over the past few years, the West Island has increased its appeal to travelers by creating many new attractions. The local tourism authorities put new life into traditional attractions by revitalizing coral reefs, fishing villages and the island’s culture. Fenghuangling boasted explosive growth in tourist arrivals during the holiday driven by its addition of night tours.
- The time that visitors need to make travel decisions was further shortened.
Impacted by the pandemic, the amount of time in advance that travelers needed to make their bookings has been reduced significantly. Data from STPB shows that, from September 30 to October 6, 31 percent of travelers booked tickets 1-3 days in advance, up 6 percentage points year-on-year; 30 percent ordered tickets 4-7 days in advance, a rise of 12 percentage points while the percentage of travelers who reserved tickets more than 7 days in advance decreased 17 percentage points to 35 percent. This reflects the fact that many of the visitors made their decision at the last minute to visit the city during the holiday.