(CNN) — The sandy shores of Sanya. The mountains of Yunnan. Giant panda sanctuaries in Sichuan.
Wealthy Chinese travelers may not be able to travel internationally with ease these days, but they have no shortage of attractive travel destinations in their own backyard.
And it seems the country is readying for yet another boom in domestic travel ahead of Golden Week in October.
Before the outbreak — which was the worst in China since 2020 — domestic travel had been on the upswing.
According to a report by the China Tourism Academy, the sector expected approximately 4.1 billion domestic trips in 2021, reflecting a 42% increase compared with 2020. In addition, the academy has projected $511 billion in revenue from domestic tourism, up 48% year on year.
Meanwhile, an annual survey of high-net-worth individuals by Chinese research firm Hurun Report found that interest in domestic travel jumped 31% year on year and 44% of respondents said they planned to increase their travel spending.
Women from the Bai ethnic group sell goods at a local market in Xizhou, Yunnan province.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
“Outbound tourism is officially discouraged, and the quarantine-on-return requirements are onerous,” Sienna Parulis-Cook, director of marketing and communications at Dragon Trail, a China-focused digital marketing agency, tells CNN Travel.
“There is also social pressure and a sense of responsibility that you should not risk others by traveling abroad and potentially bringing back the virus with you.”
While international travel remains challenging, wealthy
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