China May Day forecast shows 200 million set to travel - Insights
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China May Day forecast shows 200 million set to travel

China May Day Group, a leading global travel services provider, has released its forecast data for the upcoming May Day holiday in mainland China showing up to 200 million tourists will be on the move over the 5-day break.

According to data from Group platform, Ctrip, as of April 14 bookings for the May Day holiday have seen significant increases across many business areas in comparison with the same period in 2019.

According to the forecast data, the current volume of hotel bookings has achieved a 43% increase compared to the same period in 2019. High-end hotel bookings accounted for more than 50% of total bookings over the May Day holiday. This forecast aligns with previous domestic travel trends, where many mainland Chinese travellers opt for a hotel-based vacation to spend the national holiday.

Air ticket bookings have also once again seen an increase compared to the same May Day holiday period in 2019, growing by 23%. With the increased demand, the average price of an economy class air ticket has risen to RMB 1,021, exceeding the average price of economy air tickets from the same period in 2019.

The forecast data shows that as of April 14, the number of people nationwide making bookings for attractions through Group’s Ctrip platform increased by 114% compared to 2019. This number is expected to boom in the weeks approaching the May Day holiday due to the short booking cycle for attractions. In mainland China, advance attraction ticket booking is a new phenomenon and feature introduced and spread by the industry to better predict and prepare attraction sites for visitors and to facilitate improved management of visitor numbers following the pandemic.

This May Day holiday will see greater enthusiasm for long-distance travel across provinces in mainland China. The data shows that over 70% of tourists are choosing inter-provincial travel, a trend that builds on the short-haul travel boom that occurred in mainland China following the removal of domestic travel restrictions. The current level of car rental bookings for May Day holiday travel have reached growth of 126% compared to the same period in 2019, with nearly 90% of car rental bookings made for inter-provincial travel. Group booking and search volumes from mainland China reveal the extent of pent up travel demand that exists in domestic markets. The most recent Qingming Festival holiday saw Chinese domestic travel bookings on Group platform, Ctrip, increase by 300% compared to 2019. Group data on Chinese mainland demand for outbound travel to Macao for the upcoming May Day holiday saw bookings rise by 20% compared to the same period in 2019.

The strong domestic travel recovery in the mainland China market is further evidence that the global travel revival will have a staggered build up. As the vaccine rollout continues worldwide and global initiatives, such as the CommonPass platform Group supports, become more popularised safe cross-border travel will become possible.

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