COVID Lockdown Traps Tens of Thousands of Holidaymakers in China



· 8月9日

During the peak season of tourism, three domestic tourist hotspots, namely Hainan, Xinjiang and Tibet, are experiencing successive outbreaks.

Image source: China Visual

Image source: China Visual

BEIJING, August 9 (TMTPOST) -- About 80,000 tourists have been stranded in Sanya city, a popular tourist destination in China’s southernmost province Hainan, since the lockdown of the city as the fallout of the recent Covid-19 outbreak.  

Last Sunday, there were 186 confirmed cases and 227 asymptomatic infections in Chinese resort city Sanya. By 12:00 on Monday, Sanya reported a total of 824 confirmed cases and 420 asymptomatic infections. According to incomplete statistics, the current outbreak in Sanya has spilled over to 13 cities and counties in Hainan province, including Danzhou city and Lingshui county, and four other provinces and municipalities, namely Chongqing, Guizhou, Hunan and Guangdong.

Of the 80,000 stranded in the city, 25,000 people have been trapped in hotels, paying out of their own pocket for high accommodation fees. Liu Cheng, deputy director of Hainan Provincial Department of Culture, Radio, Film, Television, Publications and Sports, said that the hotels with stranded tourists, have provided a 50% discount to the original price at their check-in. New visitors will be given a 50% discount to the lowest price posted on China’s leading traveling service company Ctrip's official website.

In addition, about 3,273 people have been stranded at the airport since last Saturday due to flight cancellations. Sanya has transferred them in 89 batches safely to 11 hotels in the city.

The COVID cases in Xinjiang, another tourist hotspot in northwestern China, are all asymptomatic, mainly in Ili Prefecture, Urumqi, Kashgar, Aksu and Hami. 274 asymptomatic cases were confirmed from July 30 to August 7, including 69 new cases last Sunday. Ili Prefecture is located in the western part of Xinjiang, north of the Tianshan Mountains, within the Ili River Valley, with popular attractions such as the Narathi Grassland, Gozigou, and the Ili River.

New cases were also confirmed in Tibet last Sunday, another tourist hotspot that had reported no new cases for 920 consecutive days. On Monday, the Tibetan Ali region informed that last Sunday, Ali region Pulan County, detected four positive cases when screening visitors in routine nucleic acid tests, including three people in Tibet Rizkaze City, Sangzhu District, one person in Rizkaze City Tingri County.

Some travel industry insiders said that this year's summer tourist season may have ended prematurely due to the simultaneous outbreaks in three popular tourist destinations, Hainan, Xinjiang and Tibet.

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