SHANGHAI, 2 May 2019: More Chinese travelled further afield to non-Asian destinations during the Labour Day holiday according to Hotelbeds, a leading B2B bedbank.
Monitoring holiday bookings made by Chinese, Hotelbeds said 10 to the top 30 destinations were outside of Asia compared with just three destinations a year earlier.
Labour Day, 1 May, marks the start of a three-day holiday period for Chinese but this year a day was added and the holiday ran through to the weekend making the holiday break even longer.
Paris and London were listed in the top 30 destinations in 9th and 15th places respectively, with Paris last year coming in at number 23 and London not ranking at all in the top 30.
Further down the top 30 rankings, Paris and London were followed by other non-Asian destinations such as Prague (22nd), Barcelona (23rd), Dubai (24th), Honolulu (26th), Madrid (27th), New York (28th), Melbourne (29th), and Rome (30th).
This year’s increase in non-Asian destinations on the top 30 list is due in part to the holiday being could in part be explained by the fact that this year the Chinese government extended the holiday from three to four days.
It used to be a seven day “Golden Week” until it was shortened in 2008. The date of International Labour Day is 1 May, but the length of the holiday varies each year, according to the government’s plan, which is normally a three-day holiday.
However, China only announced this year’s extra day 22 March which resulted in a surge of extra accommodation bookings – with Hotelbeds’ data showing a year-on-year increase of around 75% in the weeks following the government’s surprise announcement.
Hotelbeds APAC regional director for wholesale sales Hui-Wan Chua said, “For this year’s International Labour Day holiday we noticed a strong picked up in booking for medium-to long-haul trips especially for popular international destinations. This is likely due to the long holiday period driving advanced bookings. This year, we saw the same booking figures in March that we’d seen in April 2018 and in the weeks after the government announcement we saw an overall surge of around 75% in year-on-year bookings.”
China now ranks as Hotelbeds’ fourth biggest source market globally, driving incremental bookings for Hotelbeds’ portfolio of 180,000 hotels globally.