BEIJING, China: Chinese tourists purchased 18.3 million railway tickets for trips during the first day of the country's five-day labor day holiday, according to the state railway group.
Following lockdowns and the coronavirus being brought under control, the Chinese are rushing to travel to visit friends and family throughout the country.
Prior to the pandemic, the May Day holiday often saw the Chinese travel internationally.
Besides traveling by rail, officials estimate that some 60 million vehicles would travel the nation's roads during the Labor Day holiday. A total of 256 million trips are to be carried out during the holiday, added officials.
"I feel like this is the first time ever that restrictions have really eased after the pandemic," said Sun Dandan, a real estate professional who lives in Xinjiang and was visiting Beijing for the first time, as quoted by the Associated Press.
"People's enthusiasm for traveling is strengthening again, and the economy is improving, too."
On May 1, Beijing South Railway Station, always one of the busiest stations in Beijing, was packed with passengers. Tickets had been long sold out for the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway.
Tourists were also arriving in Beijing to visit local sites and enjoy its famed restaurants.
"It's very bustling here. The pandemic in foreign countries is very severe, but here in China we are not affected at all," Guo Jieping, from Shanxi Province, told the Associated Press.
Data from the online travel platform trip.com indicates that over 70 percent of Chinese tourists have chosen to travel within the country.
Not only are hotel booking higher than in 2019, but sales of airline tickets have risen in volume this year by 23 percent.