Cheaper travel deals for upcoming Dragon Boat Festival
The upcoming three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday seems to be offering better options for travelers than the May Day holiday.
Hotel and air ticket prices in many popular domestic and outbound destinations are cheaper than that during May Day holiday, according to Shanghai-based online travel operator Trip.com.
The holiday starts from June 22.
Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao, Nanjing and Xi'an are among the most popular domestic destinations based on booking statistics, while the hotel prices in several of these destinations are lower than during the May Day holiday, the operator said.
Hotel prices in Xi'an, Nanjing and Guangzhou for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday are 29 percent, 22 percent and 19 percent lower, respectively, than that of the May Day holiday, according to the travel operator.
A domestic single-trip air ticket during the holiday costs 887 yuan (US$124.50) on average as of June 11, about 20 percent lower than on May Day.
Short trips, traditional culture, water fun
Travel review website Mafengwo said short-distance trips will dominate the Dragon Boat Festival travel market while northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is the top option so far among long-distance travelers or those who plan to drive, based on its searching statistics.
Search of minsu (Chinese version of a bed and breakfast) in Beijing and Hangzhou soared 130 percent and 100 percent in the recent week. Homestays with various activities such as making sachets or zongzi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves with fillings) are also popular, the website said.
Locations with folk custom activities seem to be more popular destinations during the holiday, according to Mafengwo. Among them, Foshan in south China's Guangdong Province is gaining popularity for its famous dragon boat races, delicacies and unique culture.
The Dragon Boat Festival is a commemoration of ancient poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC) and is celebrated with boat races and sticky rice dumplings.
The popularity index of Foshan surged 90 percent for those seeking travel tips, the travel review site said.
Ancient towns featuring traditional folk culture and flavors in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are also popular options, while Sayram Lake, Ili Nalati grassland and the Kanas scenic area in Xinjiang are among the top 10 domestic long-distance scenic spots during the holiday, according to Mafengwo.
Drifting and water amusement parks are also gaining popularity during the holiday, according to Tongcheng Travel.
The search popularity of drifting has soared 272 percent, compared with over 150 percent for water amusement parks since June.
Chimelong Water Park and Atlantis Sanya are the most popular, while beach resorts like Dalian, Weihai, and Qinghuangdao are also favored, it said.
China's outbound tourism is recovering, and is estimated to see a boom during the holiday, Trip.com said.
Outbound travel bookings for this holiday have surged by 12 times year on year, and trips within three hours of flying time are favored during the holiday with routes between Shanghai and Osaka or Jeju Island, and between Beijing and Tokyo or Seoul popular options, it said.
Tuniu, another domestic online travel operator, said families with children and university graduates are the major tourist sources of the holiday, accounting for nearly 47 percent of the total.
For outbound travel, beach resorts like Maldives, Thailand, and Singapore, are popular during the holiday, it said.
Switzerland Tourism promoted the picturesque scenery in Zurich, Genève, Lucerne and Ticino and dining options during the event.
It has also launched a number of sustainable tour itineraries and travel passes in cooperation with Trip.com.
On Wednesday, Visit Finland hosted the Nordic Happiness Event-Finland Day in Shanghai, with the most recent travel information of Finland shared.
Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for the sixth year in a row.
"This year I have seen more and more Chinese tourists in Finland, which is very exciting," said Tarja Koivisto, account manager, global sales promotion of Visit Finland.
"According to statistics, from January to April this year, the number of nights spent by Chinese tourists in Finland is the highest compared to other Asian countries, which makes me confident that the Chinese market will recover," she said.