Travel vol­ume spikes dur­ing hol­i­days

An in­creas­ing num­ber of Chi­nese are choos­ing to travel abroad dur­ing pub­lic hol­i­days as con­sump­tion lev­els and in­comes rise in the coun­try

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

More than 260,000 peo­ple en­tered and ex­ited the coun­try via Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­por t be­tween Dec 31, 2016 and Jan 2, 2017, rep­re­sent­ing a yearly growth of about 11 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est sta­tis­tics from the China Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion of Shang­hai Air­port.

Dur­ing the three-day hol­i­day pe­riod, 75,000 Chi­nese main­land cit­i­zens boarded in­ter­na­tional flights at Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, ac­count­ing for about 60 per­cent of the to­tal out­bound tourists from the city. In ad­di­tion, more than half of them were trav­el­ing to des­ti­na­tions such as Ja­pan, South Korea, South­east Asia and the United States.

“I’ve gone on over­seas trips with my fam­ily dur­ing most of the hol­i­days as I think it is a good chance for ev­ery­one to get to­gether and take a break while ad­mir­ing another coun­try’s scenery and sa­vor­ing their cui­sine,” said Zhou Yun­qin, a mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor of a multi­na­tional com­pany in Shang­hai, who flew to Thai­land with her fam­ily dur­ing the New Year’s Day hol­i­day.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics, the num­ber of peo­ple de­part­ing and en­ter­ing the coun­try shortly be­fore and af­ter a hol­i­day pe­riod has been grow­ing in the past few years.

In ad­di­tion, the num­ber of days in 2015 where more than 100,000 tourists en­tered and ex­ited the coun­try via Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port was 26. In 2016, the fig­ure grew more than five times to 144.

Yu Hai, a so­ci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity, ex­plained that trav­el­ing abroad has become an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar op­tion among Chi­nese as con­sump­tion lev­els con­tinue to rise in tan­dem with grow­ing in­comes in the coun­try.

A re­cent re­port by Ctrip on travel trends dur­ing the New Year and Spring Fes­ti­val fur­ther il­lus­trated this point.

Based on the re­port find­ings, the av­er­age that tourists from 186 Chi­nese cities spent book­ing trips via Ctrip dur­ing the lat­est New Year’s Day hol­i­day was over 4,000 yuan ($575.5), a con­sid­er­able surge from the pre­vi­ous year.

The data from 250 mil­lion Ctrip users also showed that 58 per­cent of cus­tomers chose to travel abroad dur­ing the New Year’s Day hol­i­day pe­riod and that Euro­pean coun­tries like Ger­many, Italy and France have once again become pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions, reg­is­ter­ing more than 100 per­cent yearly growth.

“More and more cus­tomers are also be­gin­ning to de­mand for more unique travel ex­pe­ri­ences to niche des­ti­na­tions such as Ice­land, Venezuela, Monaco and Fin­land,” said an of­fi­cial from Ctrip.

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