(CTN News) – In anticipation of the upcoming “Golden Week” holiday, the first since China resumed international travel, outbound travel from China is experiencing a notable surge, despite a slowdown in the country’s economic growth.
Travel provider Trip.com revealed in a press release on Monday that bookings for popular foreign destinations like Singapore, Australia, and Thailand have skyrocketed, showing a 20-fold increase compared to the same holiday period last year.
Golden Week: A Week-Long Celebration with Unique Travel Preferences
Golden Week, commencing on October 1 this year, encompasses the week-long celebration that includes the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day in China.
This year, travelers are demonstrating a greater inclination towards seeking “unique and immersive experiences,” as highlighted by Trip.com’s CEO, Jane Sun.
Data indicates a surge in private group tour bookings and reservations for less frequented destinations such as Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.
Jane Sun stated in the press release, “We’ve observed a significant shift towards high-quality services and in-depth travel encounters. Travelers are not only exploring well-known destinations but are also avidly seeking authentic and off-the-beaten-path experiences.”
The surge in bookings follows China’s lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions in December and the removal of the ban on group tours to over 70 countries in August.
The United Kingdom and South Korea, two countries experiencing increased travel from China, were among those on the list.
Unmet Expectations: Why No Travel Boom?
Despite more than six months passing since China fully reopened its borders, the much-anticipated surge in international travel has not materialized as expected.
Many residents have chosen to stay within the country, either by preference or due to the challenges and expenses associated with international travel.
Concurrently, domestic travel has witnessed a robust recovery. Trip.com reported a four-fold increase in bookings for travel within China compared to the previous Golden Week, with residents opting for extended stays and exploring different provinces.
Northwestern China’s autumnal tours and the pleasant climate in South China have made these destinations particularly popular.
Golden Week traditionally prompts hundreds of millions of Chinese residents to embark on journeys. Even amid pandemic restrictions, China registered 637 million domestic travelers in 2020.
This holiday period is renowned for stimulating shopping and tourism activities among the populace.
In conclusion, China’s resurgence in outbound travel is a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration among its citizens. While the economic slowdown has impacted various sectors, the travel industry is showing signs of recovery and adaptability.
Travelers are now seeking more profound and meaningful experiences, ushering in a new era of travel that values authenticity and immersion in different cultures and landscapes.
As Golden Week approaches, it brings with it a renewed sense of adventure and hope for the future of international travel from China.