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International and domestic travel bookings skyrocket for Chinese May Holiday

(Credit: PRNewsfoto/Trip.com Group)

International flights during the holidays recovered to around 40% over the same period in 2019, with searches increasing by more than 60% compared to 2019.

SINGAPORE – Leading travel service provider Trip.com Group reveals its Chinese mainland May Day travel trends, with strong domestic and international booking growth.

Chinese outbound travellers were among the most influential consumer groups driving global tourism revenue before the pandemic. After three challenging years, China’s travel industry is back on track to grow and recover.

The May Day holiday has climbed in popularity, with sharp increases in domestic and international travel consumption.

International flights during the holidays recovered to around 40% over the same period in 2019, with searches increasing by more than 60% compared to 2019.

Compared to the Chinese New Year holiday (January 21 – January 27). Ctrip platform data reports that flight bookings from the Chinese mainland to Southeast Asia countries during the May Day holiday have increased by 91%. Flight bookings to Japan and Korea increased by 120% and 204%, respectively. Long-distance flight bookings to Europe have grown by over 40%.

Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, and the United Kingdom were the top 10 most-booked outbound global destinations for the May holiday, with nine out of 10 searches made by Chinese mainland travellers to these destinations surpassing the 2019 level.

Many young post-00s travellers were stepping out of the country for the first time. On the Ctrip platform, the popular cross-border destinations for first-time orders by users aged 18 to 23 were Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur.

Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group, said, “The May Day holiday has ushered in the first wave of outbound tourism growth this year, driving recovery and local service capabilities. With capacity continuing to increase, Chinese consumers will soon seek destinations beyond APAC and return to long-haul travel to EMEA and the Americas. We continue to work with global partners to ensure capacity and safeguard the pent-up travel demand seen from Chinese mainland consumers.”

Cities across the Chinese mainland continue to focus on tourism to boost domestic demand and consumption. Numerous scenic spots joined hands with Trip.com Group’s Ctrip platform to offer VIP services and special activity packages to provide a wide range of experience options for May Day visitors.

As of April 19, bookings for domestic hotels, flights and scenic spot tickets for May Day holiday on the Ctrip platform surpassed the 2019 level.

The top ten cities were Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chongqing, Xi’an, Wuhan and Shenzhen.

According to data from Ctrip‘s FlightAi market insight platform, more than 80,000 domestic flights were operated during this year’s May Day, with the average daily level increasing by around 15% compared to the same period in 2019.

Escaping the city and embracing the rural areas has become a holiday travel choice for more and more users. Ctrip data shows that during May Day, the overall order size of rural tours has recovered to 242% of the same period in May Day 2019, and the proportion of orders from tourists staying in the countryside for more than three days has increased by 230% compared to 2019.

The overall order volume for Trip.com Group’s Country Retreats increased by 261% year-on-year. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou became the most vibrant cities for countryside tours.

Most notably, post-00s accounted for over 34% of rural tour orders on May 1 this year, ahead of the post-90s and post-80s, becoming the mainstay of rural tourism for the first time.

With digital consumer trends shifting since the pandemic, Trip.com Group emphasises its user-centric all-in-one platform and unique content and product offerings.

Trip.com Group launched its “Super World Trip” livestream series tailored to promote short-haul travel to the Chinese mainland consumer and stimulate tourism products in key destinations.

The first livestream held in Thailand achieved a gross merchandise value of RMB 40 million, with over 20,000 room nights sold. The success of this has been mimicked in Tokyo and Hong Kong, with GMV reaching RMB 23 million and RMB 30 million, respectively.

Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group, commented, “Chinese consumers have been unable to travel for an extended period, but it is clear consumers wish to explore the world again. We continue to digitalise and respond to consumer change to ensure we deliver great consumer choice through a diversified content marketing approach.”

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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