China’s Golden Week Holiday: What’s Driving Outbound Travel


Skift Take

Understanding what Chinese language vacationers need is essential for stakeholders within the tourism trade to tailor choices and experiences that match these altering preferences.

— Peden Doma Bhutia

Locations within the Center East are rising as favorites for China’s upcoming Might Day vacation, generally generally known as Golden Week.

Total outbound journey from China throughout this yr’s vacation remains to be lagging behind 2019 ranges by 13%. However journey to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has surged by 66%, and Turkey has skilled a big development of 56%, in keeping with ticket gross sales knowledge from ForwardKeys.

Supply: ForwardKeys

Elevated seat capability from Africa and the Center East, which is ready to broaden by 75% within the second quarter, has led to this surge in journey.

Corresponding will increase in seat capability to China have backed the journey development charges of 56% to Turkey, 19% to Italy, and 12% to the UK.

Final month,, China’s largest on-line journey company, introduced document bookings in Abu Dhabi, exceeding 57,000 room nights over the previous 12 months. From 2022 to 2023, outbound journey orders throughout all merchandise from Chinese language vacationers to the UAE surged by greater than threefold.

Chinese language outbound journey to Center East had already reached pre-pandemic ranges through the Chinese language New Yr interval in February.

Pre-Pandemic Journey Patterns

ForwardKeys anticipates that the Might vacation will witness notable journey peaks round April 27 and Might 1, intently resembling pre-pandemic journey patterns.

Within the Asian area, Malaysia has emerged because the top-performing vacation spot for Chinese language vacationers, with flight bookings presently 42% forward of 2019 ranges. Due to extra lenient visa insurance policies, together with visa-free journey to Malaysia and Singapore, and streamlined procedures for South Korea, journey to those locations is predicted to surpass 2019 ranges in Might.

These findings align with insights from Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report, releasing afterward Wednesday. In response to the report, visa-free insurance policies, direct flights, and simplified utility procedures are additionally making outbound journey extra interesting and accessible.

In response to ForwardKeys, a notable shift in passenger profiles is the lower in group travellers, which has dropped by 53% in comparison with 2019 ranges. In distinction, solo travellers are displaying a robust curiosity in exploring Asian locations, with a 9% improve.

The Dragon Path report additionally highlights rising choice for impartial journey amongst Chinese language vacationers. Vacationers additionally want, semi-self-guided journey and boutique teams of 6-10 folks, which supply flexibility and comfort.

Worth-Oriented Method

Together with flexibility and comfort, Chinese language vacationers are additionally searching for rest and luxury of their journeys.

Amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and China’s financial downturn in 2023, Chinese language vacationers are prioritizing rest and luxury of their journeys.

The financial pressures have led to a value-oriented strategy to journey planning, with a majority fastidiously contemplating their spending to maximise worth and choosing inexpensive journey choices.

Round 20% of respondents who mentioned they might not journey outbound in 2024 cite restricted earnings as a barrier. Solely a small proportion (11%) are prepared to pay a premium for superior services.

Most vacationers allocate lower than 20% of their earnings for journey, with budgets sometimes starting from RMB10,000 to RMB30,000 for upcoming journeys.

Supply: Dragon Path Worldwide’s Chinese language Traveler Sentiment Report Spring 2024.

Regardless of budget-consciousness, buying stays an integral a part of outbound journey, with greater than two-thirds of vacationers spending a minimal of RMB2,000 (US$276) per journey. Native meals and souvenirs are the first buying classes, adopted by cosmetics, clothes, footwear and luggage.

Photograph Credit score: Total outbound journey from China throughout this yr’s Might vacation is 13% behind 2019.


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