Outbound tourism sees booking frenzy as holiday approaches

Outbound tourism sees booking frenzy as holiday approaches

Tourists from the Chinese mainland flock to the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, on May 1. [ANDY CHONG/CHINA DAILY]

As the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, which runs from June 8 to 10, approaches, China's tourism sector is seeing another booking frenzy, with outbound tours particularly sought out by visitors.

Data from online travel agency Ctrip showed the search volumes for outbound hotels have increased significantly compared with the same period of 2019, with Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and Malaysia becoming hot destinations.

Short distance, coupled with the recent currency declines of the Japanese yen, have made Japan the hottest destination for chartered car services for this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday. The number of chartered car bookings more than doubled compared with last year.

Countries which implemented visa-free convenience measures for Chinese citizens are also gaining more popularity and have witnessed robust bookings.

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Jeju Island of South Korea are some major destinations for outbound tours, according to Mafengwo, a travel service and social networking platform.

Ctrip data showed the number of outbound travel bookings for Malaysia during this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday rose 54 percent year-on-year.

United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Tunisia witnessed robust bookings, with growth rates all surpassing 100 percent, hitting 141 percent, 139 percent and 171 percent, respectively.

Some European visa-exempt countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are also hot picks by Chinese travelers, with outbound tour bookings increasing 55 percent and 71 percent, respectively.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Duanwu Festival, is a significant traditional Chinese celebration which involves eating glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reeds or bamboo leaves. It falls on June 10 this year.