Ministry emphasizes travel safety ahead of holidays

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Updated: 2022-03-31

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Helping tourist attractions and cultural hot spots prevent coronavirus outbreaks remains the priority of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday approaching.

Li Xiaoyong, the ministry's vice-director of market management, said at an online conference on Wednesday that the ministry has tightened the management of the tourism market as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to increase domestically.

He said that the ministry has required attractions and places like libraries and theaters to measure the body temperatures of visitors and remind them to wear masks. They are also required to improve the supervision of the health of employees and carry out regular disinfections.

Li said that interprovincial group tours will be suspended in the case that the destination has registered confirmed infections or is listed as having any medium or high risk locations. Hotel bookings and tickets for inbound and outbound group tours remain suspended.

"It's important to raise travelers' awareness of the need to protect themselves as they are a part of epidemic containment work," he said.

As this year's three-day Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday falls on April 3, he reminded travelers to make sensible travel plans.

"It's important to closely follow the development of the epidemic and not visit places at medium or high risk of infection," he said. "It's necessary for travelers to understand epidemic control policies and measures during the course of their trips, including checking health codes, taking temperatures and wearing masks. In the case they experience symptoms such as coughing or high fever, travelers should cut short their trip and go to hospital."

The latest figures from travel agencies show that travelers are paying more attention to safety and privacy over Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday due to the current situation.

Tuniu, an online travel agency, said that 63 percent of users who've booked trips through its platform will travel on their own and around 60 percent have shortened their trips to between one and three days.

Short-distance tours remain popular. Qunar, another online travel agency, said that 45 percent of users have booked hotels in their city of residence to spend the holiday and tours to suburban areas have increased by 30 percent compared to the same period of last year.

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