China's 'snowbirds' seeking warmer climes

Zhu Shenshen
Airbnb report finds Chinese tourists still keen to take holidays despite the pandemic with trips to the countryside and an escape from the cold on their wants list. 
Zhu Shenshen

Over 70 percent of Chinese tourists are considering trips to the nearby rural locations and winter breaks in warmer places, Airbnb said in its report on the Chinese market released on Monday. 

More than 76 percent of respondents are seeking an “escape to the country,” while 71 percent are “snowbirds,” wanting spend the winter in warmer places and southern coastal cities, according to the accommodation sharing platform's 2021 tourism trends report. 

The report by Airbnb and Kantar surveyed 1,000 tourists in China.

More than half of respondents want to travel four to six days in 2021, especially during the Spring Festival vacation, according to the report.

The findings echoed those of Shanghai-based Trip (formerly Ctrip), which has seen a rebound in demand for domestic trips.

Short-term rental is the top accommodation choice for many trips in 2021, according to Airbnb.

The “snowbirds” prefer beach and coastal destinations such as Hainan or cities in south China such as Lijiang, Dali, Xiamen and Xishuangbanna, all in warmer climes. Winter activities are also popular with destinations including Harbin and the Changbai Mountains favored, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents are considering becoming “digital nomads,” working from anywhere or combine business trips with leisure trips after the pandemic boosted the “work at home" model, according to the report. 

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