Travel demand amps up as Spring Festival nears

Ma Qing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 19, 2024
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Bookings for trips during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday in China are witnessing a surge as the travel demand among residents is robust, according to major online travel platforms, ThePaper reported on Friday.

The combination of family visits and tourism has led to a significant increase in travel enthusiasm and bookings, making it potentially one of the most bustling holiday seasons in recent years.

According to Mafengwo, a travel service and social networking platform, searches for "where to go for Spring Festival" surged 350 percent in the past week and continue to rise.

A report by Alibaba's travel platform Fliggy showed a significant year-on-year increase in domestic travel bookings for the Spring Festival holiday, with holiday travel search interest exceeding the level seen in the same period in 2019.

Online travel agency Ctrip's report shows that, as of Jan 13, orders for domestic, outbound and inbound tours during Feb 9 to 17 have all increased.

More Chinese residents are planning multiple trips. The proportion of family and parent-child travel by both railways and civil aviation is expected to reach record levels during the Spring Festival travel rush, according to a report from Tongcheng Travel.

The increased demand for air travel has led to higher domestic flight prices, the highest since the same period in 2019.

Flight prices to Hainan province during the Spring Festival have surged, with routes such as Hangzhou of Zhejiang province to Haikou of Hainan province seeing a 105 percent year-on-year increase.

The average payment for air tickets during the period exceeded 1,000 yuan ($139.87), a 10 percent increase compared to 2020, according to Qunar, a Beijing-based online travel agency.

The first travel peak is expected on Jan 20, coinciding with the start of winter break for many schools, according to Qunar's train and flight bookings.

The second peak is expected on Jan 27, marking the beginning of the Spring Festival travel season, with the highest peak expected on Feb 7 and 8, two days before the eve of Chinese New Year.

Tongcheng Travel's report said that, for domestic flights during the Spring Festival travel rush, family travel takes up 43 percent of the total, with a 35 percent proportion of trips involving children, both reaching new highs since the same period in 2019.

For rail travel during the Spring Festival, the expected proportion of family trips is 27 percent, with a parent-child travel proportion of around 20 percent, setting new records since 2019.

The top ten popular domestic destinations for train travel on Tongcheng Travel during this year's Spring Festival are Chongqing, Harbin, Guiyang, Beijing, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi'an, Guangzhou, Changsha and Shanghai.

Fliggy's data shows that holiday travel bookings in some "niche" or lesser-known destinations such as Quanzhou of Fujian province, Zhuhai of Guangdong province, Foshan of Guangdong province, Beihai of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Luoyang, Ningbo of Zhejiang province, Taizhou of Zhejiang province, Qingdao and others have surged over 20 times compared to the previous year.

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