China encourages ‘revenge journeys’ after coronavirus lockdowns to help economy

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Chinese authorities are said to be encouraging citizens to come out and venture on a “revenge journey” to rebound tourism and boost the economy, after months of lockdowns and restrictions in the fight against COVID-19.

As of Thursday, around 550 million people are expected to travel for China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival – and keep moving forward during the eight-day Golden Week, reports The Guardian.

Passengers wait for their train at Hankou Station a day before the eight-day national holiday on September 30 in Wuhan, China’s Hubei Province. (Hu Jinli / VCG via Getty Images)

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The term “revenge journey” has been featured frequently in Chinese media lately, with Quartz defining the concept as “the government’s hope that people will travel or consume more than they usually do … due to demand. repressed to be locked up. ”

Visitors invade the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing, China on October 1 (Yan Cong / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Visitors invade the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing, China on October 1 (Yan Cong / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Photos released by Getty on Wednesday and Thursday show crowds at a train station in Wuhan, the Great Wall in Beijing and the Leshan Giant Buddha.

According to the South China Morning Post, 15 million flights are expected to take off between Oct. 1-8, while hotel bookings for Golden Week have jumped 50%, according to Reuters.

China celebrates the National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1 with an eight-day holiday this year.  (Yan Cong / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

China celebrates the National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1 with an eight-day holiday this year. (Yan Cong / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Tourism demand that has been suppressed for nine months will likely be released within eight days,” speculated a Trip.com spokesperson.

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Tourists visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the first day of the eight-day national holiday on October 1.  (Liu Zhongjun / China News Service via Getty Images)

Tourists visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the first day of the eight-day national holiday on October 1. (Liu Zhongjun / China News Service via Getty Images)

More than 500 “scenic spots” are offering free or reduced entry to attract visitors, the Guardian reports, as officials hope consumer spending and travel during the holiday week herald an improving economy. China’s state-run Economic Information Daily called this year’s Golden Week a “critical battle” for the tourism industry as a whole.

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Nevertheless, tourism will inevitably be a little different from past years due to the pandemic; Last year, nearly 800 million people are believed to have traveled to China during Golden Week.

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