Summertime night tourism driving economic recovery in China


Night tourism is getting trendy in China.

In the first half of this year, ticket booking for night tours across China on online travel booking platform Ctrip recovered to 70 percent of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, and the number of people booking tickets in the recent two weeks for night tours during the summer vacation surged tenfold from a month ago.

According to Tongcheng Travel, an online travel services provider, ticket booking for night tours to tourist destinations in southwest China’s Yunnan province skyrocketed 300 percent from a week ago.

In the recent month, the search volume for “night market” increased 150 percent on Chinese travel service and social networking platform Mafengwo. Yunnan, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Gansu province were the most desired destinations among young tourists, the platform said.

A night tour to the Liangma River in Beijing has become popular among Beijing residents and tourists to the Chinese capital these days. To further release consumption demand and encourage the development of nighttime economy, a night tour promotion drive was recently held in the city. Innovative business models that spur nighttime consumption related to food, entertainment, and sports, as well as nighttime shopping, are injecting new vitality into Beijing’s summer tourism.

Splendid nighttime tourism activities have driven up the tourism market, stimulated consumption demand, and assisted the recovery of local economy.

At the Hengdian World Studios, one of the largest film studios in the world and a renowned tourist attraction in east China’s Zhejiang province, a large nighttime show about film making has been staged over 600 times. This immersive and interactive show provides tourists with a unique experience in which they are not only the audience, but also “actors.”

At the amusement park Happy Valley Beijing, light shows are performed to build an immersive touring experience for visitors.

“Night tourism is growing into a robust driver of urban renewal and the upgrading of tourism consumption. It is closely combined with culture, technology and consumption,” said Ge Lei, deputy president of a research institute under the China Youth Travel Service.

Night tourism is creating huge visitor flows and thus upgrading the business models of nighttime economy, Ge said, adding that new scenarios have been created to further spur the recovery of nighttime consumption. 

According to statistics released by Tongcheng Travel, the number of car hailing orders placed at night near tourist attractions in Dongguan, south China’s Guangdong province, increased 57 percent in the recent week from a month ago. There was also a 21 percent weekly increase in nighttime car hailing services in both Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong and Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

An employee of Tongcheng Travel told People’s Daily that the prospering night tourism not only promotes the development of tourist attractions, but also drives other sectors, such as accommodation, catering, and transport.

Night economy makes up an important part of urban life. It satisfies people’s diversified demands for culture, improves the vitality of cities, and ignites new passions for consumption. Night tours with local characteristics can build new images for cities and promote rapid recovery of the local tourism and culture market.


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