The easing of COVID-19 control policies has increased inbound and outbound flight ticket requests per day, according to travel operators.
As of January 8, the country ended centralized quarantine for international arrivals and lifted the flight ban, with COVID-19 now downgraded from Category A to Category B in the Department of Communicable Diseases.
Tongqing Travel said on Sunday that requests for inbound and outbound trips rose 628 percent with departures per day compared to the same period last year, marking the peak since March 2020.
Of these, she said, requests for domestic flights account for 48 percent and the rest is outgoing.
The destinations of Chinese overseas travelers are more than 100 cities in 53 countries and regions.
The travel operator said lax COVID policies and demand for family reunions for the upcoming Spring Festival are behind the surge.
The travel company declared based on statistics that Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu and Nanning are the most popular destinations for domestic flights in the day.
Tickets for direct flights from Seoul to Nanjing, Phnom Penh to Nanning and Bangkok to Guiyang sold out one week before departure.
Air tickets from Hong Kong to the mainland grew 62% on the day as well.
Jiang Xiaowei / shine
Tongcheng Travel said many passengers had delayed their return scheduled for December last year after easing restrictions policies were announced.
For those scheduled to take trips between December 27 and January 7, 51 percent have changed their schedule beyond January 8 or received a refund on their tickets.
Cambodia, South Korea, the United States, Japan and Singapore are popular overseas destinations for flights departing from China.
Trip.com, the Shanghai-based online travel company, said on Sunday that Asian destinations with domestic policies that are friendly to Chinese travelers are most favored.
She said that since December 27, visa applications for Singapore have increased by more than 30 times over the same period last year, and the growth has also been notable for visa applications to Malaysia and Thailand.
“The return of Chinese tourists is highly expected for all tourist destinations in the world,” said Shen Jiayi, a tourism analyst.
“It is expected to significantly boost the Asian tourism market.”
Trip.com’s most expensive airline ticket order since the announcement is worth more than 170,000 yuan, including four tickets from Shanghai to San Francisco.
Demands for hotels involving overseas destinations also increased significantly, up more than 500 percent since the announcement of concessional policies from the same period a year earlier.
Trip.com said Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Milan saw the most growth.
Shanghai Spring Tour said requests for visa applications have grown by 20 percent since the relaxation policies were announced with Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, France and the United States.
“Now most of the overseas travelers are visiting their families or doing business trips,” said Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of the Shanghai Spring Tour.
“We are examining resources and transportation for outbound destinations, as well as having discussions with our partners about related products.”
The travel agency said there has been a change in tourist travel requests with small tour groups and the emergence of tailored and tailored tours.