Beijing residents are keeping plans low-key, with disappointing numbers likely to visit Hong Kong Some of the lustre seems to have worn off the golden week holiday, with Beijing residents saying they are keeping their holiday plans for the National Day celebrations low-key. Industry experts and tourism officials have predicted that the tourism market would rebound this week, since May Labour Day holiday plans were largely abandoned due to Sars. But people in the capital are keeping their travel plans conservative and low-key. It seems disappointingly low numbers are heading for Hong Kong, a popular golden week destination, or beyond. Many people appear to be following up on mainland travel plans that they had made months ago. 'Sars kept me in Beijing during the May Day holidays,' said Allen Feng, a securities analyst from Liaoning province working in Beijing. Mr Feng plans to return to Liaoning to attend a family reunion originally planned for the May holiday. 'I think the best plan for National Day is to have the reunion. The holiday means nothing to me but several days off from my tiring job,' Mr Feng said. Chang Xiaomu, an employee at a pharmaceutical company in the capital, had similar plans. 'I'll go to Wutai Mountain in Shanxi province with my family. We had planned to go in May but didn't because of Sars.' Han Xiaohu, with the China Travel Service, said the company made travel arrangements for 6,000 outbound tourists nationwide, down 30 per cent from last year. The decline is especially startling considering that the government has eased restrictions on individual travel to Hong Kong and Macau for residents of Beijing, Shanghai and eight cities in Guangdong province. CTS nationwide processed just 3,000 visas for individual travel to Hong Kong and Macau, with fewer than 800 for National Day week. Beijinger Li Yuanhui said that air fares and hotel prices had gone up considerably from the lows seen post-Sars in August, keeping her at home. 'I'd like to travel to Japan as I majored in Japanese in college, but the price increased for the holiday. My boyfriend and I are trying to save money,' she said. Sun Changwei, a manager at the China Youth Travel service, said that when the low-price promotions ended it seemed like travel prices had shot through the roof. Beijing is a very popular National Day destination itself, as people from around the country come to see the Great Wall and to attend the dawn flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square. But even this sense of nationalism seems to be waning. 'Though National Day is the birthday of the country, the holiday really doesn't mean much to me except for several days off; and it's nice that we are paid for those days,' said Li Yuanhui, an office assistant in Beijing said. Liu Kun, an insurance salesman, agreed. 'Yes, it really doesn't mean much other than several days away from the pressures of hard work.'