Caixin
Jan 03, 2023 07:49 PM
BUSINESS

Out-of-Town Trips Make a New Year’s Comeback in China

What’s new: More of China’s domestic travelers took trips out of town during the past New Year holiday than in 2022, industry data show, illustrating the impact that the end of the “zero-Covid” policy has had on tourism in the country.

About 60% of users of online travel agency Trip.com chose to travel to another provincial-level region during the three-day weekend that ended on Monday, up from 40% last year, company data show. Data from another online travel agency, Ly.com, showed that holiday travelers made 67.6% of their hotel bookings in a different city, up from 51.3% in 2022.

Travelers in China made 52.7 million domestic trips during the New Year holiday, up 0.44% year-on-year, while domestic tourism revenue rose 4% year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The context: Analysts predict that domestic and overseas tourism will recover in 2023 now that China is relaxing its Covid-19 restrictions and will soon open its border. Over the past two years, many Chinese tourists stuck to visiting local attractions because of travel restrictions within the country.

As of now, domestic tourism numbers are still a long way from where they were before the pandemic. The number of holiday trips taken this year was 42.8% of the total taken in the same period in 2019, according to the tourism ministry.

Although they don’t see any more Covid lockdowns in China, analysts said that outbreaks across the country will continue to disrupt tourism and the rest of the economy in the short term as some people choose to stay at home to avoid getting sick or to avoid the impact of workforce disruptions.

Related: China Eases Some Restrictions on Travel Agencies’ Cross-Province Services

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart@caixin.com)

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