Tourist trains give a boost to China’s ongoing tourism recovery

(People's Daily Online) 10:06, April 11, 2023

Many parts of China have lately arranged a range of tourist-dedicated trains to popular destinations, helping sustain the recovery of the country’s tourism market.

The tourist train Y61 carrying 428 tourists recently departed from the Beijing Fengtai Railway Station in Beijing to Huangshan city, east China’s Anhui Province. This was the first tourist train launched by China Railway Travel Service Group Co. Ltd. under the China Railway Beijing Group Co., Ltd. in 2023. Passengers of the train can enjoy spring at scenic spots in Huangshan city, Ganzhou city in east China’s Jiangxi Province, and Taining county in southeast China’s Fujian Province.

Tourists pose for a group photo before boarding the tourist train Y61 at the Beijing Fengtai Railway Station in Beijing. (Photo/Li Rui)

Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province launched the tourist train Y64, the first of its kind for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area since 2020, which carried 538 tourists for a 16-day tour. Equipped exclusively with sleeping berths, the Y64 left Harbin, the provincial capital, for Shenzhen city in south China’s Guangdong Province, providing a comfortable travel experience for passengers.

The train Y936 with 523 tourists left Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, for an 11-day tour around the Taklamakan Desert. It was the first tourist train of its kind in the autonomous region after the operation of the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway, which connects Hotan city in southwestern Xinjiang and Ruoqiang county in the southeast. Tourists can enjoy landscapes and historical sites in southern Xinjiang.

Feng Rao, head of a research institute under Chinese travel service and social networking platform Mafengwo, said recent tourist trains are mainly those that enable tourists to enjoy blooming flowers and the spring scenery.

Tourists pose for a group photo before boarding tourist train Y64 at a square of the Harbin East Railway Station in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province. (People’s Daily Online/Yuan Yong)

With distinctive features, tourist trains give visitors an immersive travel experience and promote social interaction between them, said Jin Zhun, secretary general of the Tourism Research Center of the China Academy of Social Sciences.

“We have doctors on our tourist trains, which are also equipped with electrocardiograph machines, sphygmomanometers, oximeters, glucometers, and first-aid kits, as well as medicine,” said Li Rui, an executive of China Railway Travel Service Group Co. Ltd.

“Many passengers of tourist trains are seniors. Traveling by tourist trains will enrich their lives after retiring, and they can also make new friends during tours,” Li added.

Tourist trains link multiple famous scenic spots and each tourist train route is arranged according to the needs of passengers, seasonal factors, and popular travel trends, said Zhao Yun, business manager of a subsidiary of China Railway Travel Service Group Co. Ltd. Zhao added that passengers do not need to transfer to another train or change their berths during the journey.

Tourist trains offer services related to transportation, accommodations, catering, and entertainment, injecting fresh vitality into the tourist market.

Jin believes that tourist trains need to enhance visitors’ travel experience, integrate modern technologies and upgrade services.

Zhao said tourist trains will enjoy broad prospects, and high-end tours by tourist trains will become a new thrust.

The continuous operation of tourist trains helps release people’s travel demands and drives the development of local tourism, hotel and catering sectors. Tourist trains boost interregional tourism consumption and promote the high-quality development of the supply chain in the tourism sector, Feng said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


Related Stories