By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday -October 1 marks the beginning of the week-long National Day holidays, one of the most important Chinese holidays along with the Labor Day and Spring Festival. Since it can be up to 10 day holiday, it is expected to serve as a driving force to stimulate domestic demand and promote industries related to tourism and leisure.
[The Tiananmen Square in Beijing, capital of China. Many Chinese tourists from the provinces visited the place in celebration of the National Day holidays. More tourists are expected to visit this year./ Source: Xinhua News Agency]
According to the September 26th report of the People's Daily, there are many companies and organizations offering 10-day break by adding three days to the official 7-day holiday. This seems why the number of Chinese tourists will increase compared to previous years. The tourism industry forecasts that 598 million Chinese are likely to hit the road, at home and abroad, during the holiday, up 12 percent from last year.
China's domestic tourism market will certainly rise as well. During the holiday, Chinese residents are expected to spend 500 billion yuan (KRW 85 trillion won), up 15 percent from the previous year. This is more than twice the GDP of Jordan and Libya. Guwei, CEO at Aojia Travel Agency, said, "China has now become a country where people put a lot of importance to their pursuit of a better quality of life. This fact will be definitely true on the upcoming National Day holiday. It may also boost China's sluggish economy."
What's noteworthy is that Chinese tourists to Korea are on the rise again after Korea and the United States announced their plans to the THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula, creating uncertainty in the domestic tourism industry for a while. Sui Lan, director of Beichen travel agency in Chaoyang District, said, "It's true that the number of Chinese tourists to South Korea reduced slightly in the months of July and August. However, things have improved in September. The atmosphere will heat up even more during the National Day holiday."
Considering the current atmosphere, more Chinese tourists are expected to rush to Korea during the holiday compared to the previous year with 170,000 tourists. Of course, there are still some Chinese regulations that limit trips to South Korea. This is why many believe that the number of Chinese tourists to Korea would serve as a touchstone for China's resentment of THAAD deployment.