WUHAN, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- On a big lawn in Caidian District of Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, more than 100 colorful recreational vehicles (RV) were seen parked on Wednesday, as tourists were set to start their week-long trip around the central Chinese city.
Once under strict lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, the city has seen an influx of tourists as this year's Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday started Thursday.
Since the local culture and tourism department launched a campaign on Aug. 8 to boost tourism, the provincial capital has attracted over 720,000 visitors, with many taking self-drive trips, statistics showed.
As of Sept. 27, 382 top-rated tourist sites in Hubei that participated in the campaign received over 23.11 million people, with 219 of them reaching or surpassing the tourist number in the same period last year.
This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, which was celebrated on Thursday, overlapped with the weeklong National Day holiday, thus extending the holiday to eight days until Oct. 8.
"With the holidays overlapping, people are more willing to travel," said Lei Wenjie, head of the Hubei provincial culture and tourism department. "We expect to see a new tourism boom, which will further stimulate the rebound of the tourism market."
On the first day of the holiday, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport had a total of 537 flights, carrying more than 70,000 passengers, surpassing both flight numbers and passenger volume from the same period last year, according to Hubei Airports Group Company Co., Ltd.
Three major train stations in Wuhan saw around 320,000 passengers on Thursday, a record high since the epidemic outbreak, said the local train operator.
Chen Yong, one of the RV drivers at the Caidian District, drove from the city of Yueyang in neighboring Hunan Province to Wuhan on Tuesday with his wife and 8-year-old son. The RV tourists like Chen came through travel clubs in 14 provinces across the country.
In the next three to five days, they will travel five routes throughout the city, with themes including water, history and night tours.
During this year's holiday, the Yellow Crane Tower, a landmark tourist attraction in Wuhan, has launched night tours, the first time since the historic building opened to the public in 1985 after reconstruction.
"We will definitely enjoy an in-depth tour of the city this time," said Chen.
Facing increasing tourists, Wuhan continues to ensure that scenic spots use ticket reservation systems and enforce staggered admission timings. Passengers are required to go through temperature checks and wear masks in scenic spots or public transport.
Among the tourists, many are medical workers who had come to Wuhan from other provinces to combat the pandemic earlier this year.
Wu Weijuan, who hails from east China's Jiangsu Province, returned to Wuhan nine months after her first encounter with the city when she served at a local traditional Chinese medicine hospital during the lockdown.
"As soon as the high-speed train reached Wuhan, I kept looking outside the window and was really delighted to see the teeming crowds and cars packing the streets," Wu said. "The city has truly recovered." Enditem