China's tourism industry witnesses surge in run-up to Spring Festival

China's tourism industry witnesses surge in run-up to Spring Festival

  19 Jan 2024

<img src='' alt='Tourists visit the Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province on January 14, 2024. Harbin has become one of the hottest destinations in China this winter and is among the top choices for tourists home and abroad for the Spring Festival holiday. /CFP'

China’s tourism market is set to flourish during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday, with bookings multiplied over the same period last year.

A report released earlier this week by Chinese online travel giant Ctrip shows that bookings for domestic, outbound, and inbound travels all have been experiencing significant year-on-year growth.

<img src='' alt='Visitors pose for photos in front of posters for the Chinese TV series "Blossoms Shanghai" at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai on January 13, 2024. The hit series has attracted many fans to visit the city's film locations. /CFP'

Travelling to opposite sides of the country has become a popular trend in China this winter, with people from the country’s southern regions heading north in search of ice and snow, while northerners flee the chilly weather for warmer climes in the south. This trend looks set to continue during the Spring Festival holiday.

Travel bookings to Harbin in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province have increased more than 14-fold compared with the same period last year, mainly by tourists from the south of the country. Sanya in south China’s Hainan Province and Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province are the destinations of choice for many northern tourists.

<img src='' alt='Visitors enjoy the sea and sand at Yalong Bay in Sanya, Hainan Province on January 7, 2024. Many tourists from north China have opted to spend Spring Festival in Sanya. /CFP'

As a time known for family reunions, the Spring Festival holiday will see more families hitting the road. Bookings on Ctrip show that 47 percent of all tourists are choosing to travel with their families. Among them, most have chosen to rent cars, book tailor-made trips, or take chartered bus tours with local guides.

<img src='' alt='A Chinese family takes a selfie in rented traditional Thai costumes at Wat Arun, or the "Temple of Dawn," in Bangkok, Thailand on January 12, 2023. Thailand is one of the top travel destinations for outbound Chinese tourists during Spring Festival. /CFP'

The increase of outbound and inbound travels is another highlight of this Spring Festival. Short to medium tours to Southeast and East Asia are the hottest among outbound travelers, with cruise vacations being a dark horse.

<img src='' alt='China's first domestically-built large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City, is seen berthed at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on January 11, 2024. Cruise vacations are a dark horse in China's Spring Festival travel bookings. /CFP'

Inbound travel bookings have increased more than tenfold compared to last year, thanks to the recent introduction of favorable new visa policies. Tourists from Japan, the United States, South Korea and many other countries have chosen to visit Shanghai, Beijing and other renowned tourism attractions in China. Harbin, one of the hottest destinations in the country this winter, which has also attracted the attention of foreign media, is also a top choice for overseas travelers.

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