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China counts on travel bonanza as National Day holiday kicks off

Hundreds of millions hit the road in first mass travel event of COVID era

China's National Day holiday is eight days long this year, one day longer than last year.

SHANGHAI -- Millions of travelers in China hit the road on Thursday as the country began its extralong National Day holiday, promising some much-needed relief to a tourism industry battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Online travel operator Trip.com projects some 600 million people will visit domestic destinations including Hubei in central China -- the original epicenter of the pandemic -- and Xinjiang in the west, ground zero of a more recent outbreak.

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