Golden Week, the annual weeklong holiday for China's National Day – synonymous with rest, relaxation and record-breaking numbers of travellers – is upon us. As usual, the numbers of travellers and money spent on travelling are insane, to the point where Asia as a whole, if not the entire world, must prepare for a tourism rush during Golden Week. Here's the breakdown...
First of all, international travel: an estimated 7 million Chinese nationals will travel outside of China for the holiday, according to Shanghai Observer
. Japan has become the top travel destination for Chinese tourists for the first time, while visits to contending vacation favourite, South Korea, have recovered slightly from a drop last year. Thailand, coming in as the second-most booked, retains popularity despite this summer's boat disaster near Phuket island that resulted in the death of 47 Chinese nationals and a drop in tourism from China, as stated in SCMP
Beijing South Railway Station. Image: Andrew Hearl
On the highways, tolls have again been suspended
from October 1 through 7. While helping people reunite with their families for the festivities, this altruistic decision has in the past led to massive country-wide congestion; we might see repeated scenes of previous years, as peak travel days in the beginning and end of the holiday transform major motorways into massive parking lots.
As everyone flees the city – SHINE cites that
residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing are most likely to travel during the break – if going away doesn't sound worth the hassle, stick around, cos there'll be plenty going on in to keep you entertained for the week...
By Oliver di Constanzo
Additional research: Yu Zhiming