Visitors clad in anime costume pose in front of a school of stingrays at Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park during the 2021 Spring Festival holiday. [Photo provided to China Daily] Visiting local attractions surged during this Spring Festival holiday as many people stayed in their cities of residence following guidelines to reduce COVID-19 risk, Yang Feiyue reports. Many Chinese shortened the distances of their travels during Spring Festival this year. Zhao Yun checked into a rural homestay with a couple of friends in northeastern Beijing's Miyun district during the seven-day holiday. "It was my first time spending the festival away from home," says the 29-year-old Beijing resident, who's originally from East China's Anhui province. Zhao says many of his friends whose hometowns are outside of Beijing chose to stay put. So, they decided to take short excursions in the suburbs. "After all, the holiday calls for some sense of ritual," he says. Zhao visited Beijing Wtown resort, played mahjong with friends and enjoyed celebrations in the countryside during his stay. "It was fun," he says, adding that his parents were very understanding and supported his decision to not return home for the traditional family reunion this year. Zhao is one of the millions of Chinese who answered the country's call to stay put during the holiday to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Among more than 57,000 respondents who work for 480 enterprises, 75 percent of migrant workers chose to stay in their current cities of residence, according to a China Association for Labor Studies survey. The trend means more people took short-distance trips. Bookings at local scenic spots by people who stayed put more than tripled compared with the holiday in 2019, China's major travel agency Trip.com Group reports. Attractions in Shanghai, Beijing and Jiangsu province's Suzhou topped the bookings.