How did China Kick Off The Golden Week Festival Amid COVID-19 pandemic?
China's Golden Week is, indeed, a heated and concerned discussion everywhere. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual spree of travel and celebration was kicked off on the country's National Day, 1 October 2020.
While China estimates to bring the epidemic under control, this festival will catch the eyeballs of almost every news media agency as people squeeze into train cars during this festival, not adhering to the social distancing protocols. While people in other countries are still struggling to buy groceries from the local store while maintaining social distancing and wearing a face mask, China is already returning to normalcy with remarkable speed.
Well, will that be a threat in the near future or an economic health recovery? People will know after the Golden Week concludes.
What is Golden Week?
The Golden Week in the People's Republic of China is the name of the 8-day national holiday, which was introduced in the year 2000. It is a paid holiday given to the Chinese community in the country intended to expand domestic tourism. It also helps in improving the national standard of living where people are allowed to explore the culture of China enabling them to visit long-distance family and friends. The Golden Week enhances travel activities at great heights in China.
COVID-19 & The Golden Week
While many leaders around the world will be keeping their eye fixed on the Golden Week, the festival might turn the global tourists back inward to China and reshape the travel industry. This year, the country will notice a change in certain patterns where millions of Chinese will stay closer to their homes, and not travel overseas.
China's official tourism research institute commented that 550 million domestic trips during the week are predicted, as it coincides with the Mid-Autumn festival in the country. The Forbidden City of Beijing is known to be a popular spot during Golden Week.
Even after imposing official restrictions along with 75% limited capacity, the tickets to the popular destination is already sold out. Well, all we can hope is NO surge in Coronavirus cases are registered in the country, otherwise, their economy will witness a huge nosedive again.
Impact of Golden Week On Travel Industry
After the pandemic took a rising hype and surge around the world, the travel industry was hit hard after strict lockdown regulations. With Golden Week of China and people preferring domestic travel and enjoying leisure services, travel industry might witness a surge in the revenues resulting in an impact on contribution in the Chinese economy.
However, such an expectation will also revolve around the scary hints of pandemic and a gradual increase in the cases. Thus, travel industries are prepared to serve every safety measure possible for the travellers to maintain the protocols while boosting the revenues of this particular sector.
While comparing the situation from the rest of the world, people are still struggling to travel from one city to another amid lockdown. Not only, it affects the travel industry globally, but it will leave a huge impact on the travel normalcy in the future as well.
We might find people wearing mast at all times while maintaining social distancing and carrying a sanitizer at all times. Will Golden Week witness similar #newnormal trends? Well, at least that's what we hope for!
While China is approaching closer to the pre-pandemic normalcy, the Beijing government also called out to people to stop wearing a mask at all times. This announcement went unnoticed by netziens, but what followed, went viral.
The massive elbow to the elbow pool party in Wuhan caught all the attention when people were found partying without adhering to the social distancing protocols. Soon, it became the international agenda of discussion where haters blamed China over being careless and supporters just protested the call by claiming zero cases in Wuhan province of China.
Well, for those hoping to catch the big breaking news from China, The Golden Week brilliance might just catch eyeballs of many leaders indeed.
To make the most of the Golden Week, officials are turning their attention to revive the tourism industry. Meanwhile, many tourist attractions are offering free admission during this festival. Several domestic airlines, on the other hand, are advertising unlimited flights within fixed time duration to increase the footfall in every region of China.
While most of the migrant workers in China are still struggling for proper wages, other affluent Chinese are already planning their own little ways to enjoy the festival and loosen up, even when the whole world is still fighting the battle against the pandemic.
Last year, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported more than seven million people leaving the country during the Golden Week. However, the trend will be followed on the local map this year as people are preferring to travel on domestic flights and enjoy the festival while roaming on every street possible in China.
However, one reality cannot be ignored in the midst of Golden Week celebration. As on 2 October 2020, China has reported more than 90,500 cases.