12th February 2024 – (Beijing) The China Tourism Academy’s latest data forecasts an unprecedented surge in travel within China, projecting over 6 billion domestic tourist journeys in 2024. Additionally, the total number of international trips made by Chinese citizens and foreign visitors to China is expected to surpass the 260 million mark, signifying a robust recovery and substantial growth in the tourism sector.
China’s tourism has witnessed a remarkable upswing, with the recent figures indicating an impressive year-on-year doubling in domestic travel and revenue, which is now more than 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels. The inbound and outbound tourist count also showed a significant uptick, exceeding 190 million last year, marking a 280 per cent increase from the prior year, as reported by the People’s Daily.
The eight-day Spring Festival holiday period has catalysed a record-breaking boost in tourism activities. According to the travel service Qunar, this year’s extended festivities have prompted a novel trend: Chinese residents are opting to spend the initial days of the Spring Festival with family, followed by leisure travel with friends or relatives. The second day of the holiday, in particular, saw an impressive swell in tourist numbers.
Travel data indicates that during the 2024 Spring Festival, there has been no notable decline in travel volumes. Flight bookings for the subsequent days of the festival soared by 60 per cent compared to the previous year, with the second day witnessing peak travel activity. Popular domestic destinations such as Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai are among the top choices for holidaymakers.
Anticipated travel during the Spring Festival of 2024 is poised to hit record numbers, as suggested by Qunar’s reservation data. Meanwhile, airfare has remained within a reasonable range, with several flights from Beijing and Shanghai to various destinations available for under 300 yuan ($41.7).
Alongside the travel surge, hotel bookings have also experienced a significant increase. Notably, bookings for the first two days of the holiday in cities like Beijing and Shanghai have jumped by more than 50 per cent compared to last year. Emerging first-tier cities such as Nanjing and Wuhan have seen an increase of over 30 per cent.
The festive atmosphere is palpable across China, with an upsurge in hotel reservations and fully booked attractions such as Beijing’s Palace Museum and Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors. Cultural events, including various lantern festivals across the country, have also witnessed a 50 per cent hike in bookings.
Moreover, the Spring Festival has given a considerable boost to outbound travel from China. Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong SAR are the top three international destinations for Chinese tourists, with countries like Malaysia and Singapore now offering visa-free entry to Chinese nationals, further stimulating travel interest.
The Greater Bay Area, particularly the Zhuhai Hengqin Port, has seen a significant 93.8 per cent year-on-year increase in cross-border passenger flow, with around 150,000 trips recorded during the festival period. Affordable direct flights from cities like Shanghai to Jeju Island, and from Kunming and Changsha to Singapore, are indicative of the thriving outbound travel market during this auspicious Year of the Dragon.