Photo by Wilson Ye on Unsplash The Great Wall of China is a popular tourist attraction. As walls go, it is great.

Shanghai, China. August 12th, 2020–The number of tourists has surged in China as the COVID-19 contagion comes under control, but as the threat and fear of the viral infection lingers, how will summer travel this year be any different from previous years?

Tourism is down year-on-year but the number is much higher than in previous months, and it is estimated to peak in late August, according to a report sent to the Global Times on Monday by Ctrip, one of China’s biggest online travel agencies.

Cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen top the booking list of many tourists, according to the Ctrip report.

But as China still faces the risks of sporadic COVID-19 domestic and imported cases, and fear of COVID-19 lingers, this year’s summer vacation is different from previous years.

According to Ctrip, many tourists from Wuhan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and other cities still prefer to travel only within their own provinces.

The report also shows that more than 70 percent of tourists choose to travel alone, and the number of those choosing single-family private tours is up as much as 100 percent from last year.

When asked if large groups of tourists will risk causing another wave of COVID-19 infections, Zhang Wenhong, a prominent Chinese infectious disease expert and leader of a team of experts fighting COVID-19 in Shanghai, said that it is all right if the travel destination is at low risk. “Travelers should carefully protect themselves during the journey,” Zhang said recently.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a warning on Friday to advise travelers to protect themselves, and wear masks, wash their hands frequently and use disinfecting materials.