Crowds of Chinese tourists crowded public toilets near China's iconic landmarks during the Labor Day holiday. The goal of such travelers is to take a little nap between trains and take a break from the influx of other tourists. The Straits Times drew attention to viral videos in social networks in China.
From April 29 to May 3, a five-day holiday dedicated to the tradition of celebrating May Day, China experienced a real boom in domestic tourism. Crowds of people went on trips around the country. So, the other day, videos and photos appeared on local social networks taken near one of the peaks of Huangshan in Anhui province, a popular tourist destination in this Asian country. The footage shows how tired tourists doze shoulder to shoulder in a public toilet – a long walk in the crowd exhausted them. It was too late to go down the mountain, and since the hotels were full, tourists huddled in the closets. In one of the videos, a voice was heard reminding users to refrain from interfering with others using the bathroom for its intended purpose.
According to Chinese media, dozens of university students also went en masse to Haidilao restaurants, which are open until midnight. But budget travelers went there not to eat, but to sleep in order to save on a hotel. This sparked a discussion online, with netizens urging poor students not to do so as the restaurant turns into a flophouse and scares away customers. However, the sleeping Chinese were of little interest. The restaurant is located close to Purple Mountain, where travelers watch the sunrise. Having slept, they went further along the tourist route.
Domestic demand for travel pleasantly surprised local officials. More than 159 million trips by car, rail, plane and waterways were made in the first three days of the five-day vacation, according to China's Ministry of Transportation, up 162% from the same period in 2022. In just five days, local social media has been flooded with thousands of photos and videos of people crammed into public transport and huge crowds at tourist spots. The hashtag “how crowded everywhere” was a headline topic on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo on Tuesday morning.
Prior to the expected tourist rush, some cities have warned would-be tourists about overtourism as the domestic travel sector rebounds after the lifting of anti-COVID restrictions. For example, popular locations in Beijing, the ancient city of Xi'an and other attractions, including Dali, a historic city in southern China's Yunnan province, also drew huge queues. Also on Saturday afternoon, the Yellow Crane Tower – one of Wuhan's top attractions – was forced to stop selling tickets after its peak capacity reached 90%. Sales of goods and services at tourist destinations also grew – compared to the same period last year, they increased by 15.6%.
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