Chinese New Year bookings jump 10-fold as visa policies ease; Trip.com Group

Trip.com Group is leading the travel surge this Chinese New Year – which is the Year of the Dragon – with significant growth in international and inbound travel. International travel has risen by 10 times, fuelled by more relaxed visa policies, particularly to Asian destinations.

Inbound travel to China, which is experiencing one of its busiest travel seasons of the year, has also increased tenfold compared to the previous year, with a growing number of global tourists joining in the celebrations across China. The festive month there is set to witness a record nine billion inter-regional movements, with 8 February – the eve of Reunion Day – the busiest travel day of the season.

More families travelling to Asia in international travel spike

International travel rose by more than 10 times compared to the same period last year, accompanied by an increase in expenditure, particularly on flights. Travellers are favouring short-haul routes, with Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea emerging as their preferred choices. On the whole, popular destinations include Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam.

The international travel trend is gaining momentum, fuelled by increasingly relaxed visa requirements, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Since July last year, China has announced visa-free arrangements for more than 10 countries. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have seen a spike in search volume following the announcement of mutual visa exemptions.

Amid the global travel surge, travel to the Middle East is also on the rise due to favourable visa policies and convenient arrival procedures. Dubai and Qatar are among popular destinations, with the United Arab Emirates recording one of the highest volumes of guided tours.

Furthermore, family-centric travel has taken centre stage during the Spring Festival, constituting 47% of all travellers this year – a 5% increase from the previous year. This shift underscores the growing significance of family-focused journeys during the holiday season.

Spring Festival attractions in Asia are theme parks, while Europe’s charm lies in museums and city landmarks

The top Spring Festival attractions differ between Asia and Europe, with theme parks taking the spotlight in Asia. Meanwhile, Europe beckons travellers with its rich cultural heritage and history, predominantly showcasing museums, historical landmarks, and city sites.

For tourists exploring Asia, iconic names like Universal Studios Singapore, Warner Bros Harry Potter Tokyo, Tokyo DisneySea, and South Korea’s Everland are the star attractions. In contrast, European destinations favoured by Asian tourists are museums and enchanting cityscapes, where landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles, and Musee d’Orsay are preferred.

Massive influx of global travellers in China for Lunar New Year celebrations

The Spring Festival continues to attract an increasing number of travellers to China, with inbound travel bookings surging more than 10 times. Visitors come mainly from Japan, the United States, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Vietnam, Germany, and Thailand, reflecting a growing international interest in celebrating the Chinese New Year there.

Record travel season in China driven by road trip trend

There will be approximately 9 billion inter-regional movements in China, setting a new historical record and nearly tripling the numbers from the 2019 season. Furthermore, there is a growing trend of embarking on road trips for such journeys, up by approximately 60% compared to the same period last year. This trend is not limited to just bookings; car rental periods have also extended, with orders for 5–8-day rentals increasing by more than 20%, and 3–5-day rental orders increasing by 10% in the same period.

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