Despite the slow growth in the economy coupled with trade wars between China and the US, Chinese citizens haven’t held back on going on vacation both locally and in neighboring countries. For the first time orders for new cars dropped in 28 years. Moreover reports from major players in the tourism sector show during this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations Chinese citizens are going for expensive traveling packages. Furthermore, data shows Chinese citizens love travel destinations in Japan and Thailand. Moreover, the data shows the number of expected tourists has risen compared to last year.

According to China Largest online Travel Platform Ctrip, more than 400 million Chinese citizens will be taking time to celebrate this year’s Lunar New Year. Moreover from the 400 million 7 million Chinese citizens will be going for a vacation outside China. The latter figure is a rise from last year’s figure which stood at 6.5 million. The data represents the overall number of those going for vacation rose from 386 million to 400 million. Similarly, Ctrip data shows this time around more tourists are going for private, customized group tours or individual travel packages rather than group travels. The latter packages are more expensive for instance private group tours are 23% higher than other packages. Furthermore, according to Ctrip data, the latter packages are being favored by Chinese citizens with the platform’s data showing 48% choosing private tours.

Ctrip Had to Increase its Staff to Cater for the Increase in Number

In a bid to cater for the increase Ctrip had to hire more staff to cater for the rise in demand for private tours. With even 5,000 more staff hired Ctrip wasn’t even able to cater for the demand. The additional personnel are in place to help tourists get customized private tours. Further on China Southern Airlines had to increase its overall number of flights to 5300 flights. From the latter figure, 500 flights will be designated for international routes such as Guangzhou/ Shenzhen and Southeast Asia.

On the other hand, there was also a rise in the number of tickets from January 21st to March 1st. From this period only data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China shows the increase represents a 12% rise and 73 million international and domestic flights will be recorded. For China Southern Airlines they are expected to ferry more than 12 million passengers to their designated destinations. The latter figure represents a 4% rise compared to 2018 data. Apart from increasing its number of flights China Southern Airlines is also widening a number of its twin narrow body aisle aircraft to carry more passengers. On the other hand, its counterparts China Eastern Airlines is adding extra routes in February to cater for the rise in the number of travelers. Some of its new routes will cover the Shanghai and Japan’s Nagoya route.

The Destinations

Based on data from Ctrip Chinese tourist will be present in 96 tourist’s destinations across the globe with some of them reaching the farthest locations Antarctica. But the dominating country is Thailand followed closely by Japan. The US remains favored by Chinese citizens despite the trade wars. Some have booked places in North America for an extended period.

For Thailand, hotels are experiencing a boom in business with 90% of hotels in Bangkok booked before the commencement of the New Year celebrations. Moreover, according to the President of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, they are expecting around 1.2 million tourists from China who will stay in major cities. The latter figure represents a rise in the number of tourists and translates to a 10% increase compared to the previous year. Many have booked their stays for approximately five to seven days. But with the upcoming celebrations together with other organized events, tourists are expected to spend more days hence increase their overall spending. Moreover, the additional events will increase the total expenditure per head from 50,000 baht to 53,000 baht per trip 13,000 more than last year’s rate. The special events will be held in major cities.

Besides Thailand expecting more tourists Samui Island is already experiencing a rise in the number of tourists. Direct flights to the island have increased to 11 a week bringing in more tourists. At the moment 50% of the tourists landing in Samui Island are from China resulting in a 95% booking in resorts and hotels. Although the island had a disaster in July 2018 where a boat capsized the industry is picking up. Moreover, data also shows the number of tourists going for vacations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China also increased. According to JTB Japanese travel agency, this year’s number of tourist’s surpassed last year’s figure. In all the places mentioned above, many of the players have their hands full as the number of tourists keep increasing. But above all arrangements have been made to ensure their New Year celebrations are excellent.