The travel market has witnessed a price hike on both inbound and outbound flights during the Spring Festival period, an official government statement released Tuesday night said.
 
However, increasingly more expensive prices have not dulled the enthusiasm of Chinese travelers as the number keeps rising.
 
The price of the inbound travel has soared by 15 percent, led by the tours to Yunnan and Hainan provinces, according to a statement posted on the website of the National Tourism Administration.
 
As for outbound travel, prices to some tropical destinations such as Phuket in Thailand and Saipan in Western Pacific Ocean have also witnessed 30 percent increase for visitors from the Chinese mainland, followed by some increase of 15 percent to regions such as Middle East and Europe, the notice added.
 
Meanwhile, during the festival holiday, traveler numbers in Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province are still in peak, and the travelers to Shandong Province have stood at a record of more than 10 million.
 
Outbound tourists from Beijing reached 67,500, up 59.6 percent year-on-year, while more than 15,000 outbound travelers from Chongqing Municipality also hopped planes abroad as well, up 22 percent year-on-year.
 
The authorities attributed the price hikes to soaring market prices of both fuel and food.
 
During the Spring Festival period, some airlines raised fuel prices, such as Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, which raised its fuel surcharge from $16.50 to $18.30 on the flights from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong starting February 1.
 
However, insiders said the quality of travel and tour packages on offer have improved, which has also helped to attract more tourists.
 
"In the past, the travel agencies offered (impractical) products such as 11 European countries in 14 days. But, now they choose fewer countries and extend stays to attract more tourists, which is the biggest difference compared with the past," Zhang Yeqing, a public relation’s official from a travel agency web-site, tuniu.com, Wednesday told the Global Times.
 
According to tuniu.com, a six-day tour to Japan has jumped nearly 40 percent to 11,368 yuan ($1,724.29) during the Spring Festival period from January 26 to February 20.
 
But tourist numbers still rose by 20 percent over the same period last year. Also, fees to Australia increased by 40 percent, but tourist numbers doubled as well.
 
Insiders also attributed the growing travel fever to a stronger yuan, which has served to attract shoppers to go on overseas buying tours.
 

 

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