China's tourism market speeds up recovery

2023-09-26 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's tourism market will speed up recovery with consumption potential expected to increase further during the upcoming holidays, China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday.

The country's railway ticket sales reached an all-time high of 26.95 million, marking a historic high for daily ticket sales on Sept 22, according to China Railway data. From Sept 13 to 22, a total of 199 million railway tickets were sold.

Experts predict that this year's Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays will witness a peak in mass travel due to various demands, including family visits, outbound tourism, and Asian Games-related travel, signaling a strong recovery in the cultural and tourism markets.

Robust growth in domestic travel bookings

"The ticket sales volume reflects the travel demand of the general public and economic and social development trends. The record-breaking ticket sales volume indicates a stronger demand for travel during the upcoming National Day Golden Week," said a spokesperson from the China Railway's passenger transport department.

In terms of domestic travel, a report from Ctrip shows that as of now, bookings for the National Day holiday have increased by 88 percent compared to the previous week and more than four times compared to the same period last year.

Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and Changsha are the top ten popular travel destinations during the National Day holiday.

Due to the hosting of the Asian Games, Hangzhou has witnessed a travel booking increase of over 5 times year-on-year, with air ticket bookings rising by nearly 5 times and hotel bookings increasing by over 8 times.

Data from Alibaba's travel platform Fliggy reveals that as of now, domestic travel product bookings for the National Day holiday have grown almost six times compared to the same period last year, while outbound travel product bookings have surged more than twenty times.

Bookings for hotels, group tours, scenic area tickets, and car rentals have all far exceeded the levels seen during the same period in 2019.

Accelerated release of outbound travel demand

This year's National Day holiday is the first long holiday after the optimization and adjustment of entry and exit policies, leading to a surge in outbound travel demand.

"Many of my friends are planning trips to countries such as the UK, Europe, Turkey, South Korea, and Thailand," said Wang Yifan, who works in Beijing and prepares for a trip to Europe with her family.

Ctrip's data shows that outbound travel bookings for the upcoming National Day holiday have increased nearly twentyfold compared to the same period last year.

After Thailand announced a five-month visa-free policy for Chinese tourists on Sept 13, related search queries soared by 800 percent. It is expected that more Chinese tourists will travel to Thailand during the National Day holiday and the fourth quarter of the year.

As the world's largest source of outbound tourists and the world's largest consumer of outbound tourism, China's opening up of outbound group tours is accelerating and will play a positive role in the recovery of the global tourism industry, said Wu Liyun, associate professor at the Institute of Chinese Culture and Tourism Industry of Beijing International Studies University.

Strong momentum in the cultural and tourism market

"From various data, it is evident that during the holiday season, the desire for travel among the general public is strong, and the cultural and tourism market is recovering with robust momentum, boosting industry confidence," said Li Jianwei, a level-1 inspector at the Market Management Department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, during a press conference on Sept 22.

About 62 percent of Chinese consumers are expected to increase their travel spending in the next six months, a significantly higher percentage than the global average, according to the "2023 Global Consumer Insights Survey" by PwC on Sept 21.

The "Mid-Autumn Festival National Day" 8-day extended holiday will also witness an increase in family tours to cultural scenic spots such as museums.

Beijing Palace Museum, Nanjing Museum, Chengdu Museum, Suzhou Museum, Hubei Provincial Museum, and Shaanxi History Museum have become hot spots for family tours and the surrounding homestay orders and consultation search volume have increased, according to data from short-term rental booking platform Muniao, as reported by ThePaper.

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays run from Sept 29 to Oct 6. To attract visitors many regions have also introduced attractive policies including subsidies and discounts to further fuel the travel market's growth, according to ThePaper.


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