Wuhan was ranked as the top domestic travel destination to visit after the novel coronavirus pandemic ends, according to a study conducted by China’s tourism research center.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Tourism Research Center received 15,163 questionnaires as part of their April 28 study asking Chinese citizens where they would most like to travel.
The city of Wuhan, located in the Hubei province in Central China, ranked first among all domestic tourist destinations, despite being the origin of the novel coronavirus pandemic back in December 2019 that has led to over 3.2 million confirmed cases around the globe and over 334,000 deaths attributed to the virus.
Wuhan surpassed Beijing for the top spot after coming in eighth in an earlier study. Chingqing was ranked third, followed by Shanghai and Xiamen. The study also stated that while many people have already canceled any plans to travel domestically, about 72.4 percent of those surveyed said their travel plans are still intact. People are actually expected to take about four trips on average this year, as opposed to about two trips on average in 2019, according to the study.
Those who want to travel to Wuhan said they would like to “contribute to the economic development” of the worst-hit region in China, according to the research center.
“It could be said that the result of the study embodied the deep emotions from the people from around the country, expressing the public’s concerns and supports towards the ‘hero city,'” Song Rui, the director of the Tourism Research Center told China Daily, a Beijing newspaper.
“COVID-19 has created the greatest challenge the world’s tourism sector has seen in some time. The industry is in a slow recovery thanks to the government’s strong and effective measures to control the epidemic,” Rui said, adding that tourists are still fearful of getting infected when traveling.
Wuhan no longer has any COVID-19 patients in their hospitals after the last 12 were discharged on April 26, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. The city reported a peak of 38,020 hospitalizations back in February.
“With the joint efforts of Wuhan and the national medical aid given to Hubei province, all cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan were cleared as of April 26,” Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission, said at the time.
China has a total of 83,958 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country and 4,637 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, though critics have questioned whether those numbers are accurate.