Trips Abroad Up 640% Over Chinese New Year

By Alistair Baker-Brian, January 28, 2023

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Having scrapped mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals, as well as almost all other COVID-19 restrictions, the Chinese New Year holiday appears to have been a period of recovery for both the domestic and overseas travel markets. 

Chinese travel platform Ctrip – the English-language version of which is Trip.com – estimates that trips overseas, as well as to places like Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, from the Chinese mainland have increased by around 640% compared with the Chinese New Year holiday period in 2022. 

Here are a few other facts and figures which we hope represent the beginning of a full recovery for China’s travel market. 

Southeast Asia ‘The Big Winner’

1280px--_0002.jpgImage via Wiki

According to Ctrip’s own data, most Chinese travelers headed to nearby Southeast Asian countries to spend their holidays, reports Red Star News. 

The big winners from Chinese tourists included Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Manila and Bali, among other places. 

The travel platform also stated that during the Chinese New Year period, bookings for overseas flights and hotels abroad increased by around four times year-on-year. Meanwhile, tickets for attractions abroad also saw an increase of 60% compared with the same time the previous year. 

Many South East Asian countries have eased, or scrapped altogether travel restrictions for arrivals from China. Thailand originally required travelers to show proof they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, that rule was later dropped. 

READ MORE: Thailand Clarifies COVID Travel Rule for China Visitors 

Domestic Travel Makes CNY Recovery 

After having scrapped health codes, the infamous Travel Code (行程码), as well as testing requirements, traveling within the Chinese mainland has become significantly easier, to put it lightly. 

That’s given the domestic travel market a boost over Chinese New Year. 

Figures from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism state that there were around 308 million domestic trips made over the Chinese New Year holiday period – a year-on-year increase of 23.1%, and representing around 88.6% of Chinese New Year, 2019. 

Domestic travel during Chinese New Year 2023 is estimated to be worth around RMB375 billion – a year-on-year increase of 30%, and representing around 73.1% of Chinese New Year, 2019. 

Chengdu Crowned Top Travel Destination 

Chengdu-China.jpg
Image via Wiki

A number of cities attracted swathes of domestic travelers over the Chinese New Year. 

According to data from 飞猪 (Feizhu) – an Alibaba-owned travel platform – Sichuan capital Chengdu topped the list as the hottest destination for CNY travelers. Other popular destinations included Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Chongqing. 

Bookings for Homestays Increase

Popular among those looking for a rustic feel to the Chinese New Year holiday, bookings for ethnic-style homestays increased by 260% year-on-year, according to 飞猪. 

The most popular destinations included Dali, Lijiang, Xiamen, Sanya and Beihai in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. 


[Cover image via Wiki]

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