The epidemic has pushed the fast-forward button for the tourism industry's evolution, market observers pointed out.
Besides reservation-based travel, self-driving tours will also enjoy a boost out of health concerns. Data from the China Tourism Academy (CTA) showed that some 64 percent of the surveyed travelers took self-driving tours during the May Day holiday. "It can eliminate a lot of contagion risks and give you more freedom during travel," said Li, who drove a car from Beijing with her husband and has been sharing their self-driving tour tips with friends.
Smart travel services are in high demand. Southwest China's tourism hub Yunnan province has seen a surge in the use of its smart travel app that enables convenient online reservations, introductions, guides and reviews. Xinjiang also developed a similar app that was put into use before the May Day holiday.
Qian expected that the demands for quality travel, family bonding and upgraded consumption - which were suppressed by the epidemic - would become a driving force of consumption during the recovery.
Relying on boosting the number of tickets and trips alone will not work, and technology, culture and service quality will be new growth engines, said CTA's head Dai Bin.
"Revitalizing tourism is not about returning to the past, but adapting to the future," Dai said.
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