Chinese are back booking outbound travel

SINGAPORE, 18 January 2023: Group’s latest booking trends show mainland Chinese demand surging in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year holiday season.

Millions of Chinese tourists will be on the move during the Lunar New Year holiday. Also known as the Spring Festival, the festival takes place from 21 to 27 January 2023. It’s the first significant holiday following the liberalisation of border policies, and outbound travel bookings have grown significantly.

Since the announcement in late December that confirmed travel restrictions would end on 8 January 2023, Group has monitored a huge increase in searches and the volume of travel bookings.

Key trends and highlights

Between 26 December 2022 and 5 January 2023, Group’s leading Chinese language travel service platform Ctrip, reported search interest for outbound flights from mainland China increased by 83% compared to the previous two weeks.

The most popular cross-border destinations are Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, the US, Malaysia, the UK and Indonesia.

Overseas travel for the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday surged by 540% compared to last year’s Spring Festival. The average cost of bookings has also risen by 32% year-on-year.

Ctrip data also shows airline bookings from mainland China to Hong Kong increased 18 times compared with the previous year following the announcement to ease restrictions. Airline bookings to Hong Kong have also increased by 36% month-on-month. Similarly, the search popularity of Hong Kong on the platform was more than double that and increased by 85% month-on-month.

As of 12 January 2023, overall travel bookings made by mainland Chinese tourists to Southeast Asian countries increased by 1026% compared with the same period last year.

Air ticket bookings from mainland China to Southeast Asia increased by 864% year-on-year. The top five most popular destination countries for mainland Chinese tourists travelling to Southeast Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday are Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

According to Ctrip’s data, Thailand stands out as a top destination for Chinese tourists during the Spring Festival holiday made on the platforms. Inbound travel bookings from Thailand to mainland China have also increased by 101% year-on-year.

As of 12 January, mainland tourists travelling to Singapore for the Lunar New Year holiday increased by 499% year-on-year. Malaysia saw an increase of 584% year-on-year, with Cambodia and Indonesia each increasing by more than 10 times year-on-year.


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