Biz / Tech

Go near, go by car, go rural: New trends for China's tourists after COVID-19

Zhu Shenshen
People want to "Go Near," "Go by Car" and "Go Rural" according to Airbnb as it notes a steady recovery in the demand for domestic travel following the pandemic.
Zhu Shenshen

China’s tourism industry is recovering after the pandemic, but with new trends such as “Go Near” and “Go by Car,” Airbnb said on Thursday. 

China is seeing a “steady recovery drumbeat” in domestic travel, with a survey showing more than 70 percent of Chinese people wanting to travel at least once a year when restrictions are fully lifted, the accommodation service provider said. 

Its business in China started to rebound last month. On the Airbnb China site, 72 of the top 100 cities with the most month-to-date nights saw more than 100 percent growth in May, with data from May 10-19 compared with April 10-19. In terms of nights booked, cities including Changsha, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and markets such as Sanya, Huzhou and Qingdao have shown a robust full recovery or even outperformed the same period last year, according to Airbnb.

“People’s longed travel desires are being rationally released now in China,” said Peng Tao, Airbnb China president. 

Many people are planning trips for the Dragon Boat Festival at the end of June.

About 81 percent of people prefer to “travel closer to home” and favor destinations within 200 miles. More people (73 percent) are choosing to travel by car compared with 66 percent by plane and 57 percent by train, which helps avoid infection risks, according to Airbnb, citing a survey by Kantar.

The survey also shows the popularity of “Go Rural” as the hottest destinations are "beach and shore,” “suburban town” and “countryside.”

Cleanliness and high-quality accommodation are also important for tourists, the survey showed.

Special Reports