Two holiday periods set scene for summer travel boom


My weeklong annual leave started before this year's Dragon Boat Festival (June 8 to 10), so the longer holiday meant I could travel to Japan, like so many of my compatriots who, it appears, adopted a similar strategy.

During the holiday, booking volumes of outbound international flights rose 60 percent year-on-year, according to Qunar, a Beijing-based online travel agency.

The growth momentum of outbound tourism started during the Spring Festival holiday and continued through the May Day holiday. For instance, booking volumes of flights from China to Malaysia during Dragon Boat Festival more than doubled year-on-year, thanks to visa-free entry policy and some newly launched routes.

While the thriving cargo market indicates the vitality of China's foreign trade and economy, the steady recovery of the country's air passenger market after the COVID-19 pandemic is a reflection of the continuously growing travel demand from Chinese consumers.

The steady recovery of the domestic economy and continued opening-up have also provided strong support for the recovery of demand in the international civil aviation market.

Domestically, both the booking volumes of travel products and per capita consumption amount during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday exceeded the levels seen last year, and it is expected that the market will continue to show resilience this summer, supported by robust leisure and business travel demand.

Besides, Chinese consumers have been paying attention to the quality and experiences of their travels. Young tourists have been particularly pursuing personalized and high-quality travel experiences, and more people have booked luxury hotels and flights in business class, industry players found.

For the two-month period from July 1 to Aug 31, a busy travel season in summer, booking volumes of outbound international flights have already jumped 160 percent year-on-year, and prices of flight tickets declined by about 20 percent year-on-year. Some popular overseas destinations this summer include Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States, Qunar found.

The International Air Transport Association found that in April, all regions across the globe showed strong growth year-on-year in international passenger markets.

"Passenger demand has been growing for 36 consecutive months. As we enter the peak northern summer travel season, there is every reason to feel optimistic for a strong summer with airlines offering a wide range of travel options," said Willie Walsh, director general of the IATA.

China Daily