China's Lunar New Year Travel Season loses steam from COVID cases

China’s Lunar New Year Travel Season loses steam from COVID cases

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Globe Live Media, Monday, January 26, 2021

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government has discouraged travel at the time that normally records the highest volume of traffic of the year. Those who will be traveling anyway must present a negative nucleic acid test or PCR performed within seven days prior to returning home.

As a result, airline bookings made through January 19 for travel in the Lunar New Year have plummeted 73.7% compared to the 2019 holiday period, according to data from travel analytics firm ForwardKeys provided to Globe Live Media. ForwardKeys did not provide data for 2020, saying the early days of the COVID outbreak distorted the figures.

Reserves were down 57.3% from 2019 through January 1, as the situation has deteriorated due to outbreaks, which have led to tighter restrictions.

“Even though I’m in a low-risk area, people in my city would get a little nervous when they heard that I had just returned from Beijing. It’s too big of a problem,” Nie said.

Beijing has reported new cases of COVID-19 for 11 consecutive days and the number of cases across the country, while miniscule compared to most Western countries, is at the highest level in the last 10 months.

State media reported that many employees working for state companies or public agencies have been ordered not to travel without management approval.

Some people who have already bought airline tickets are considering canceling them.

“I’ve already booked a ticket but haven’t made up my mind yet,” said Kathy Qi, a 29-year-old office worker from Henan, Beijing.

A report from aviation data provider Variflight predicts a 6 million trip reduction over the Lunar New Year as a result of the COVID testing requirement and home quarantine rules, with about 50% of those likely travelers cancel their trip.

Ticket prices, normally at their highest during the Lunar New Year, have plummeted. As of January 25, airline tickets sold on Qunar.com, an online travel platform based in Beijing, had an average price of 651.36 yuan ($ 100) during the holidays, the lowest level in the world. last five years, the company reported Monday.

Ben Oakley
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