Provincial and overseas trips in demand as Spring Festival nears
The approaching Chinese New Year holiday will witness a significant increase in interprovincial travel and even a jump in overseas trips, according to travel agents.
The holiday will run from January 21 to 27.
Tuniu, an online travel agency, said that 72 percent of its users who have booked holiday tours have chosen trips between provinces, and that trips lasting three to six days make up 60 percent of all travel days.
It said that the holiday travel peak is expected to be on January 18, and residents of Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenyang have shown the most enthusiasm for travel.
Statistics revealed significantly longer travel distances throughout the holiday, reflecting a keenness to travel.
Chinese travel services and social networking website Mafengwo said beach resorts, hot springs and minsu (the Chinese equivalent of a B&B) are the most frequently used search terms for holiday planning.
Popular sites include Weizhou Island, Nan'ao Island, Qiandao Lake, Dali, Wuzhizhou Island and Dongshan Island.
Mafengwo said that the popularity of historic towns with a strong Spring Festival taste and atmosphere increased by 50 percent, with Wuzhen, Gubei Water Town, Zhouzhuang, and Nanxun drawing the most attention.
The popularity of West Lake, Yuyuan Garden and Zigong City increased due to their lantern fairs.
The number of travel-related posts about Thailand and Singapore has increased by more than 150 percent in the last week, indicating a preference for Chinese-friendly and China-proximate Asian countries.
It is said that policies regarding Chinese inbound tourists, polymerase chain reaction tests, and COVID-19 insurance are the primary concerns of Chinese travelers.
As Thailand has a favorable stance toward Chinese visitors, with arrivals not required to present vaccination records or undergo tests, more than 50 percent of recent enquiries on outbound trips related to Thailand.
Since January, Trip.com's hotel bookings in Thailand have increased by 480 percent compared with the same period last year, and hotel orders for the Spring Festival holiday in Thailand have increased by about 12 times compared to the same period last year.
All popular hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Samui and Phuket were sold out during a Wednesday promotion, according to Cui Yan, general manager of the travel operator's hotel department for Thailand.
"There is even a person who reserved a hotel in Thailand for the National Day holiday in October," Cui said. "We are currently in negotiations with partners in Thailand for additional rooms at subsidized rates."