In the first quarter of this year, Chinese tourists went on 1.22 billion domestic trips. To enhance the market, the tourism sector in China is working on creating new advanced technologies, travel products, and services.
Tourist attractions are adopting new types of tourism, such as camping and nighttime travel, to attract younger and affluent holidaymakers.
Though new to Chinese travelers, camping has seen explosive growth in China. According to iiMedia Research, China's camping economy saw significant growth from 2021 to 2022, with its core market size increasing from 74.75 billion yuan to 113.47 billion yuan (about $16 billion). Furthermore, this figure is expected to continue to rise and reach new heights this year.
According to Dai Bin, the president of China Tourism Academy, more and more Chinese people are engaging in leisure tourism as China moves towards becoming a moderately prosperous society. In addition, according to Dai, the data show increased interest in domestic travel and activities not far from home, resulting in the growth of new types of leisure tourism.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported that China had almost 1.22 billion domestic tourist visits in Q1 2023, a 46.5% increase from the previous year. In addition, travel was substantially increased during both the Spring and Qingming festivals.
According to Qunar, a travel service provider, there was a 20% increase in inbound and outbound flights in March 2023 compared to the same period in 2019 for popular tourist destinations like Hangzhou, Chengdu, Sanya, and Dali. Additionally, hotel bookings in these cities grew by 60% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to pre-epidemic levels.
For example, March is typically a rare time for travel in China. However, this year, the tourism market experienced better-than-anticipated growth.
The market's recovery is also confirmed by the high number of newly formed tourism-related businesses in the first three months of this year. The platform, which provides company information and inquiry services, recorded 79,900 newly registered businesses.
China's tourism officials react to the recovery by exploring innovative methods to promote regional tourism, such as dressing up in costumes, engaging with tourists or filming TikTok videos. Since 2020, more and more directors of culture and tourism offices have joined the trend of creating short videos to promote their respective locations. Some of these videos showcase the culture of ethnic minorities, while others feature activities such as skydiving, kung fu, or singing. Many of these videos with hidden gems have become a real sensation on the Internet.