Beijing rural homestay bookings soar for May Day holiday amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks across China

The Mount Tianmu Scenic Area in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province is seen on Saturday. The city of Mount Tianmu has used its ecological advantages to develop a rural tourism industry. Characteristic projects such as camping under the starry sky have been created. Incubators for youth travel start-ups, homestays and other travel-related industries have been bolstered. Photo: cnsphoto

Rural homestay bookings in several Beijing districts have surged ahead of the five-day May Day holiday as local residents are encouraged to stay in the city amid the resurgence of COVID-19 all over China.

Several rural homestays located in Beijing’s Huairou, Yanqing and Pinggu districts confirmed to the Global Times on Saturday that almost all rooms for the May Day holiday from April 30 to May 4 were fully booked.

Demand for rural homestays near Beijing accounted for 85% of the city’s total vacation bookings, while the top 10 destinations are located in the city’s outskirts and scenic spots, according to data. from leading Chinese home-sharing platform tujia.com revealed.

The data also revealed that among major destinations, homestay bookings in Huairou and Yanqing counties increased 1.5 times year-on-year. Market demand for scenic spots in districts, such as Pinggu District, had almost tripled.

According to data form tujia.com, bookings started to increase significantly from April 10, with total bookings doubling from the same period in 2021.

The Global Times has learned that rooms for the May Day holiday for a variety of homestays on major booking apps such as Trip.com have essentially been booked following a steep price increase.

A homestay owner based in Yanqing District noted that the normal room rental price for a family is usually between 800-900 yuan ($123.04-$138.43) per day. .

“Now it will cost 1,500 yuan per day for the room,” the owner said, adding that she now only accepts phone reservations and has disabled online reservations.

“The rooms would have been fully booked sooner if I had left the online booking feature open,” she said.

Despite sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 in the capital, locals remain enthusiastic about spending their holidays on the outskirts of the city, especially as local authorities have encouraged residents to avoid traveling to d other provinces during the holidays, as the travel rush could increase the risk of acceleration. transmission of the virus.

Beijing reported six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.

Two homestay owners said they had yet to receive a cancellation request as a direct result of the outbreak.

However, the Yanqing-based owner noted that there are still lingering uncertainties for the upcoming vacation. She received several calls from guests asking for advice and restrictions on Saturday morning, but that no one had canceled their reservations so far.

Short trips to rural areas close to homes have become increasingly popular for upcoming holidays across the country as the country battles the latest round of nationwide outbreaks.

According to a report sent to the Global Times on Saturday by Chinese online booking platform Qunar.com, homestays in rural areas of cities like Beijing and Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province were the best holiday choices during the last Qingming Festival.

Rural homestay bookings for the May Day holiday accounted for 51% of total orders on tujia.com, up 20% year-on-year.

The homestay market in rural areas has become the fastest growing market in the face of the epidemic, and bookings for homestays in rural areas have exceeded those in urban areas for the first May Day holiday, local newspaper Beijing Daily reported, citing Hu Yang, vice president of tujia.com.

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