Chinese tour companies are promoting short, domestic trips for the three-day holiday as the A/H1N1 flu casts a shadow over travel.
The traditional Dragon Boat Festival, when the Chinese eat sticky rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves and watch dragon boat matches to mark the death Qu Yuan, one of China’s most famous poets creates a three day holiday break..
But this year the three-day holiday prompted fewer people this year to travel abroad as more than 12,000 cases of A/H1N1 flu were reported around the world.
China International Travel Service (CITS) cancelled trips to Europe and Japan after the flu broke out overseas. Bookings for tours to some countries where the flu was reported dropped by more than 50% against the same period last year.
A CITS spokesman said, ‘We have to promote more domestic trips to rural destinations so people can enjoy the outdoors and keep far from the flu.’
Window of China reports that Wang Chunsheng, an official in charge of domestic travel of the Shandong Provincial Tourism Bureau, said: ‘These fears should not last long, as the government has been controlling the spread of the virus strictly. The probability of a full-blown pandemic is very low. It’s a chance for tour companies to switch tourists from international destinations to domestic sites near travelers’ hometowns.’