More Chinese are escaping the local leisures and festivities associated with Chinese New Year in 2017, which kicks off January 27.
As the Lunar New Year holiday approaches, the number of outbound trips in China has grown by 9.8% over the last year, with Thailand, Japan and Taiwan leading the way as top destinations for the Chinese holiday period.
“Globally the number of international Chinese air travellers is ahead by 9.8% versus 2016’s equivalent period,” ForwardKeys said in a note.
“East Asian countries are the hot spot for Chinese tourists and Europe makes a comeback as a star destination after last year’s security concerns.”
Approximately 66% of the Chinese tourists seeking alternate Asian routes hail from cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, among others, said ForwardKeys.
Japan, Thailand and Taiwan were the three top destinations for Chinese tourists, with flights bookings for Taiwan, however, down 12.4% from last year, continuing the downward trend of the previous year. Analysts attributed the political tension between Taiwan and mainland China as the reason.
Meanwhile, European flight bookings increased 68.5% during the Lunar New Year. The top five destinations are Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France, respectively.
However, in 2015, France and Spain sat in polar opposite positions with France in first place and Spain ranking fifth.
In other parts of the world, new tourist destinations are also emerging. Flights booked to Africa and the Middle East increased by 67.1%, Latin America increased by 62.9%, ForwardKeys said. The United States and Canada’s growth rate remained at only 3.3%.