Airline ticket searches surge after quarantine time cut down

Hu Min
With quarantine time reduced for inbound travelers, a rise in airline ticket searches has been noted, giving the tourism industry high hopes of a rebound in travel.
Hu Min

A significant increase in search results for airline tickets was noted, soon after a state announcement was made to reduce the quarantine period for inbound travelers.

Overseas travelers to China will now only need to undergo five days in central quarantine, followed by three days of home quarantine, according to the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, or the nation's Cabinet.

Online travel operator Tongcheng-eLong said the search numbers of international flights surged 448 percent in one hour on its platform following the announcement, from the same time on Thursday, with Phnom Penh-Nanning, Seoul-Shenyang, Seoul-Qingdao, Phnom Penh-Guangzhou, Seoul-Dalian, Bangkok-Kunming, Vietnam-Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur-Guangzhou some of the most popular inbound routes.

"The relaxation will make the acceleration of the recovery of international flights possible," said Cheng Chaogong, a tourism analyst at the travel operator. "It's of great significance to the recovery of international trade and business, and cultural exchange activities."

The quarantine period for close contacts of COVID-19 infections has also been cut to five days at a central quarantine facility, plus three days at home, from seven and three days previously, the National Health Commission said on its official WeChat account.

Meanwhile, COVID medium-risk areas will be scrapped and the number of people to be put under lockdown will be largely reduced. If no cases are found in a high-risk area for five consecutive days, the area will be considered low risk.

Shanghai-based online travel operator said the figure of its air ticket searches more than doubled, after the announcement from a day earlier.

"It's a positive sign for the warmup of the autumn and winter tourism market, and even next year's tourism market," added Zhang Zhining, a tourism analyst with

"It saves the cost of aviation companies and time for passengers, and it will also increase the motivation to travel for tourists," said Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Shanghai Spring Tour.

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