Justin N. Froyd - Apr 29, 2024
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People are enthusiastic about travel as the May Day holiday approaches in China. Bookings for domestic, outbound, and inbound travel are hot, with several bookings increasing significantly from the previous year. The May Day tourism market is anticipated to peak during this time.

Based on the bookings of various online travel platforms, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Xi'an, Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Changsha are the top tourist destinations during the May Day holiday. As the weather gets warmer, northern coastal cities like Qingdao, Weihai, Yantai, Rizhao in Shandong, Dalian in Liaoning, Qinhuangdao, and Tianjin in Hebei Province also surge in tourism. According to statistics from the Qunar platform, the number of air and train ticket bookings to these cities has significantly increased.

Young Tourists Are the Main Driving Force

Nowadays, there are various ways for Chinese people to travel domestically. Self-driving, parent-child, cultural, and food tours have become popular options.

Internet-famous cities, from Zibo to Harbin and Tianshui to Kaifeng, are a must-visit for college students. They enjoy traveling with roommates and travel partners, trying local cuisine, taking photos, and visiting museums.

Many young tourists now travel to attend concerts as a new way to explore and experience local culture. Hundreds of concerts and music festivals are held nationwide during the May Day holiday. Fliggy data shows that hotel bookings in locations of these events have doubled year-on-year.

During the May Day holiday, many people opt for self-driving tours. Ctrip, a popular travel booking platform, reported a 40% YoY increase in domestic car rental bookings. Self-driving routes in the northwest, southwest, and Hainan are popular among tourists. Additionally, the No. 1 Scenic Road in Wuyi Mountain National Park was officially operated during the May Day holiday. This led to a 60% YoY increase in self-driving orders for car rentals in Fujian.

One noteworthy trend this year was that more tourists paid attention to green environmental protection during their trips. Ctrip saw a 51% YoY increase in orders for low-carbon hotels, whereas post-90s orders increased by 77%. Bringing your toiletries has become a new trend for the post-90s generation. Orders for airport pick-up and drop-off and local low-carbon vehicles also increased by 24% YoY, with new energy vehicles accounting for nearly ninety percent of the orders. South China had the highest proportion of new energy vehicle orders from travelers, reaching 97%. The concept of "sustainable travel" is becoming more integrated into the consumption habits of Chinese tourists.

Inbound and Outbound Tourism Flourishes during the May Day Holiday

Inbound and outbound tourism is expected to increase significantly during the upcoming May Day holiday. It is predicted to be the second busiest tourist period after the Spring Festival holiday. There has been a considerable rise in inquiries and bookings for popular travel products for outbound travel during the May Day holiday.

Visa-free destinations have become the top choice for many tourists who want to travel abroad. Countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, Indonesia, Australia, France, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and others are the most popular destinations.

Chinese tourists have many options to explore abroad, from desert sand bashing in Dubai to parks in Osaka or food day trips in Kuala Lumpur. Joining a local guide is a great way to immerse oneself in the destination's local life. During the "May Day" holiday period, orders for overseas local guides on Ctrip's platform increased by 90%. Bangkok, Phuket, Dubai, Osaka, and Kuala Lumpur are popular places to book an outbound guide; some guides are already fully booked.

Several large cruise ships, including MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises, will arrive at China's home port during the May Day holiday. International cruise ships departing from Shanghai and Xiamen have already been sold out, and the cruise market is expected to experience a rapid recovery.

Over the May Day holiday, inbound travel bookings increased 130% year-on-year. The primary source countries included Japan, the United States, South Korea, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, and France. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Xi'an, Kunming, and other places were the most popular destinations for overseas tourists.

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