The U.S. remained one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists during the National Day holidays despite China-U.S. trade frictions, industry insiders told the Global Times on Monday.
Although the U.S. ranks sixth on the top 10 overseas destinations, the five in front of it were Asian countries and regions, according to online travel agency lvmama.com's release sent to the Global Times on Sunday.
The agency employee told the Global Times there was a noticeable increase in the number of tourists to the U.S. compared to last year.
The employee declined to provide exact company statistics.
"The weeklong holiday is a rare opportunity for Chinese to travel to the U.S. since most national holidays are too short to go abroad," the employee said, adding that the Golden Week overlaps with the best travel season in the U.S..
Despite a 10 percent drop from 2017, the U.S. ranks fourth on flight search list of Ctrip, an online travel agency after Japan, Thailand and South Korea, according to a report Ctrip sent to the Global Times.
"China-U.S. tensions did not influence the Chinese tourists' enthusiasm and our tour packages sold as well as last year for the holiday," Kelvin Wu, a Chinese tour guide based in California, told the Global Times on Monday.
Chinese tourists are now exploring the U.S. deeper than before, with national parks and towns along the West Coast becoming increasingly popular compared to theme parks and casinos, Wu said.
Tourists are also showing interest in countries along the Belt and Road. Croatia's search index has increased by 142 percent year on year, and the number of searches for Serbia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan has doubled, Ctrip data showed.
Flight searches to Thailand dropped more than 40 percent year-on-year, with Ctrip attributing it to July's Phuket boat accident.
A total of 13.58 million trips were made in and out of China during the seven-day holiday, an increase of 9 percent year-on-year, according to data of China's Immigration Administration on Sunday.