Reservations for bed-and-breakfast inns have soared as China's Golden Week - or National Day holiday - draws near. It is one of two weeklong holidays in the country, the other being Spring Festival, which marks the Lunar New Year.
People will have an extra day off this year, as the National Day holiday coincides with Mid-Autumn Festival on Wednesday, Oct 4, bringing the total number of days off to eight.
Most Chinese use the National Day holiday to travel, while Spring Festival is mostly reserved for family reunions.
As Chinese tourists attach more importance to privacy and comfort, booking a B&B, and especially renting an entire villa, has become increasingly popular.
"Unlike traditional hotels, B&Bs offer specialized services and rooms. Not only can we stay with local people but we can also cook with friends there," said a woman surnamed Dai, who booked a villa with five friends.
Dai and her friends plan to travel to Lugu Lake, a popular tourist destination in Yunnan province. A night at the villa will cost about 1,300 yuan ($197) for Dai and her five friends.
Reservations for this year's Golden Week surged fourfold from a year ago, according to B&B booking platform Tujia.com. Villa orders rose even more, about fivefold over last year, it reported.
The average price of a B&B room per night is 557 yuan, with most tourists booking about 25 days ahead. The most expensive reservation on Tujia was for a villa in Shenzhen that cost 38,000 yuan for seven days. Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu are the top three destinations for B&B travelers.
Xu Yingyan, who runs a B&B in a town in Huangshan, Anhui province, said all of her 58 rooms are booked for the eight-day holiday. "Most tourists are on family vacations or traveling with friends, and some even choose to stay for seven days," she said.
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