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Patriotic tours and four-day weeks: How China’s cities are promoting local travel

Chinese tourists
Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
When will life go back to normal?

On previous Lunar New Year holidays, Gelato Fu could be found lying on a beach in Bali, or exploring the Chinatowns of cities like Los Angeles. But this year, just like last year, Covid-19 has forced the 34-year-old accountant to spend the festival in her hometown—the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. “I was on a plane bound for Los Angeles on the eve of the festival in 2015. This year, I could only take my young daughter to see monkeys in a zoo in Chongqing,” she told Quartz.

Most people in China are in the same boat as Fu.

The Covid-19 outbreak thwarted travel during last year’s Lunar New Year holiday. While the country seemingly recovered quickly from the pandemic, international travel remains out of the question for most. And domestic travel in China, which had returned somewhat in recent months, is now restricted following a resurgence of cases in northern Chinese cities.