Many people are choosing to travel during the Spring Festival holidays. Travel agencies say most of their outbound packages for the holidays are booked. And they say only a small number of domestic packages are still available.
In the capital city of Beijing, most travel agencies say they are no longer accepting orders for outbound trips before the Spring Festival.
A travel agency manager says, "we aren't accepting orders for long distance trips now. The only packages we have left are for skiing and hot springs around Beijing."
Travel agencies say Beijing's tourism market has not been affected by the global economic slowdown. In fact, they say the number of visitors to Beijing increased about 10 percent from a year ago. Packages to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and southeast Asia are among the favorites of travellers. Meanwhile, to trips to Taiwan are especially popular.
A travel agency manager says, "more than 400 people have booked packages to Taiwan. The schedule is already arranged to March 19th."
Travel agencies say they will resume the booking of long distance packages from February 1st. By then, prices for all packages will be lower. Prices for Taiwan packages will be reduced by one thousand yuan. And packages to other destinations will enjoy even better discounts.
(CCTV January 21, 2009)