China Travel Trends in 2020

By That's, December 29, 2020

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As is the That’s tradition, we’ve compiled our 2020 China Year in Review series. So sit back and relive the highs and lows of the last 12 months.


Intelligent Travel

trave.pngScreengrab via WeChat

As one of the first holidays after China started to rein in COVID-19, the travel turnout during the May Day holiday 2020 surpassed forecasts by Chinese travel company Trip.com. Still, it fell by more than 40% compared to domestic trips last year. The holiday also saw the early implementation of measures for ‘intelligent travel,’ a term referring to the application of mobile technology to avoid overcrowding in popular tourist sites by tracking guest capacity.

Nowhere Else to Go

chongqing-2170599_1920.jpg
Image via Pixabay

During China’s National Day holiday (which fell on the same day as the Mid-Autumn Festival), Chinese travelers explored the Middle Kingdom more than ever (we think), with roughly 782 million visits made to China’s domestic attractions over the eight-day holiday. This marked a 7.81% increase year-on-year. For some cities like Chongqing, the holiday was a boon for the tourism sector, with 20 million visitors pouring into the city in the first four days.

Sneaky Staycation

Waldorf-Astoria-Beijing-staycation.jpg
Image via Waldorf Astoria Beijing

While staycations were on the rise before the epidemic, China travel experts have indicated that domestic trends like making the hotel itself a destination and capitalizing on more of the accommodation’s resources have gained momentum since the start of COVID-19. We’ve also seen it in a number of hotel promotions in China’s biggest cities. Family suites have been a special focus for hotels where added amenities for children create a more engaging stay for the whole family.

Rent and Roll

open roads.jpg
Image via Pixabay

Another travel trend in the PRC that has picked up steam since the start of the year has been car rentals. China’s largest online travel agency Trip.com expects orders to jump by 30% on a yearly basis, according to China Daily. Perhaps most staggering is that nearly two-thirds of Trip.com car rental customers were new users in 2020 – showing strong potential growth in the years to come. Some of the most popular destinations for car rentals are Sanya, Chengdu and Shanghai. 

For more 2020 China Year in Review coverage, click here.

[Cover image via Pixabay, WeChat, Waldorf Astoria Beijing]

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