China sees surging outbound tourism demands for coming Spring Festival
The Chinese mainland sees surging tourism demands for the coming Spring Festival holiday as a result of relaxed COVID-19 rules, with destinations like Hong Kong as popular choices, travel service providers and airlines said on Thursday.
The Spring Festival travel rush will run for 40 days from January 7 to February 15 this year. The festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, which will fall on February this year, is the most important festival in China for family reunions and traveling.
Airline ticket orders for flights during the holiday to Hong Kong from mainland cities, mainly from Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou, jumped 18 times from a year ago, according to Trip.com (formerly known as Ctrip), tracking data since December 27.
The most booked flights from Hong Kong are to Shanghai, Chengdu and Beijing, according to Trip.com, China's biggest online tourism service provider.
"Mainland tourists have been absent from Hong Kong for three years. During the Chinese New Year travel booking window, Hong Kong's tourism industry is expected to see a significant wave of recovery. Hong Kong's unique shopping, dining and exhibition highlights will continue to make it a popular destination," said Shen Jiayi, a Trip.com analyst.
Shanghai Spring Airlines also announced to resume outbound routes, including Shanghai to Hong Kong, Taipei and Phuket, and Guangzhou to Chiang Mai in January, with more flights to resume in the future, like Shanghai to Singapore and Bangkok, and Guangzhou to Phnom Penh.
Currently, Spring Airlines operates 18 overseas routes covering Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Incheon, Tokyo, Narita, Osaka, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
As a budget airline, the company offers competitive prices. For example, the price of a Shanghai Pudong-Hong Kong flight costs from 490 yuan (US$71) while a Shanghai Pudong-Taipei flight, resuming from January 15, begins at 1,080 yuan, according to Spring Airlines.
During the Spring Festival holiday, the outbound tour bookings for Shanghai tourists increased 225 percent from the same period last year.
The top five popular overseas destinations for Shanghai tourists during the holiday are Australia, Taiwan, Macau, the United States and Japan, according to Trip.com.
For domestic destinations, the top 10 popular choices from Shanghai tourists are Guangzhou, Beijing, Sanya, Chengdu, Harbin, Changchun, Chongqing, Kunming, Shenzhen and Haikou, said Trip.