Chinese Travel Bookings for Lunar New Year Soar Over 10-Fold

22/1 2024 13:45

Bookings for trips to and from China over the lunar new year holiday have surged more than 900 percent compared with the year-earlier period, while domestic reservations have jumped 600 percent.

Outbound travel bookings have soared 15-fold this year, nearing the level of 2019, according to data from several online travel agencies. The peak for Chinese New Year bookings also came half a month earlier this year.

Chinese people are willing to travel further for this year's break, with popular destinations expanding to include some up to 12 hours away by plane, such as the United States, compared with those reachable within a mere four hours a year earlier. Other top destinations include Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Bookings for Russia, Egypt, Serbia, Morocco, and Norway have all skyrocketed over 50-fold to form an emerging destinations group.

The new measures and visa policies China has introduced to ease entry to the country have also spurred more foreigners to visit, with most coming from Japan, the US, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, and the United Kingdom, according to Trip.Com data. The most popular destinations among this group are Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Harbin, and Qingdao.

Popular domestic spots for the Chinese New Year holiday, known as the Spring Festival in China and running from Feb. 12 to 17 this year, include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Hangzhou, and Harbin. 

The popularity of Harbin, an industrial city in northernmost Heilongjiang province that is now in demand as a winter getaway, has continued since New Year. Bookings to the city have surged 1,300 percent, ranking it as the fifth-most popular tourist destination this year, while it was not even in the top 10 last year.

Orders for trips to Sanya have doubled, and those to Kunming have soared over six-fold as tourists escape the cold northern weather to these warmer southern destinations.