The United States and three countries in Europe are now among the top destinations for Chinese outbound tourists.
The USA, Italy, France and Spain were among the ten top destinations for Chinese travellers during China’s National Day Holiday period this year, which started on October 1.
This year the holiday fell close to the September 22-24 Mid-Autumn Festival, driving interest in extended breaks combining both holidays.
The findings, reported by the worldwide bedbank Hotelbeds Group, are reflected in booking data for this year’s break. Southeast Asian countries remain top destinations for outbound tourists, with the list topped by Thailand and followed by, in descending order, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea.
The top ten destinations during the National Day holiday in 2017 were Thailand, the US, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Italy and South Korea.
Chinese travellers are going to a wider range of countries, Hotelbeds Group says, booking hotels in 111 countries during the 2018 holiday period, up from 106 last year.
Two weeks away
China National Day holiday, also known as Golden Week, is a seven-day national holiday in China that takes place from October 1 to 7. The week was introduced in the year 2000 to help boost domestic tourism and allow families to make long journeys to visit relatives.
Last year, a total of 6 million Chinese mainland tourists travelled aboard during the period, according to the China National Tourism Administration – set to increase to 7 million this year.
“A weeklong holiday in a country with the world’s largest population offers vast potential for the world’s tourism industry – not least as it is preceded by a three-day national holiday only the week before, meaning many are actually taking two weeks away from the office this year,” explains Sam Turner, Hotelbeds’ wholesale sales and sourcing director, adding that many of them turn to Chinese OTAs and tour operators to arrange the travel.
“Understanding Chinese customers’ needs and sourcing Chinese friendly hotels globally – taking into consideration not just language or catering needs, but also issues such as payments, visa processing and more – has been a long-term strategy [at Hotelbeds Group ] that is already proving very successful,” says Hui-Wan Chua, the group’s APAC regional director for wholesale sales.
“This year we are excited to again see more demand from Chinese travellers to visit more and more non-Asian destinations.”