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Celebrating China’s Tourism Day: let’s hear from Booking.com

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China has set 19th May as the country’s National Tourism Day in accordance to a special tourism act approved by the 149th executive meeting of the State Councils of China in March 2011.

To celebrate this remarkable travel event, on 19th May, many attractions and scenic areas provide free entry or discounted tickets to their visitors.

SEE ALSO : What is the China Brand Day?

By setting the National Tourism Day, China aims at promoting China tours amongst local citizens and overseas tourists, improving the quality of travel services, and let more people enjoy the nation’s extraordinary landscape & the lasting delights of traveling. On that day, in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu, special Chinese cultural shows and promotions are staged. 

This year’s themes are Green Development for a better life and attention is drawn to the area of Hubei, Wuhan.

Wuhan
Source: Shutterstock

According to a Booking.com’s study, the trend of FAMILIARISTS NOT TOURISTS, staying closer to home and becoming familiarists rather than tourists will continue to increase its importance, with people seeking a more meaningful and deep connection to the places they visit. Some key statistics:

  • 47% of global travelers plan to travel within their own country in the medium term (7-12 months), with 38% planning to do so in the longer term (in over a year’s time).
  • 46% plan to appreciate the natural beauty of their home country.
  • 50% intend to travel somewhere they have already been for its familiarity.

This is also reflected in our recent observation for the upcoming summer holiday (Jul-Aug 2021), as Sanya, Shanghai, Beijing are ranked as the top three most-searched destinations for Chinese travelers during the month of April. 

Looking at the global picture, with vaccines and other break-through medical advances in the battle against COVID-19, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, with traveler’s optimism and hope that we may finally be able to relive our travel dreams in the near future.

Recently, Booking.com has conducted a global study of consumer research of over 28.000 travelers across 28 countries and territories, as well as a global study of over 3,000 accommodation partners across 20 countries, which show a return to optimism in travel. This study uncovered what travelers feel most hopeful about as it becomes safe to travel again, and what support they believe the travel industry needs to get back on its feet.

Shanghai travel
Source: Shutterstock

Based on our Back to Travel research, some insights on Chinese travelers include:

  • Three quarters (75%) of Chinese travelers feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021 thanks to news of successful COVID-19 vaccines
  • 65% say travel is more important to them now than before the pandemic
  • 75% of Chinese travelers would rather go on vacation in 2021 than find true love
  • Over half (72%) state that they will not travel internationally until they have been vaccinated

SEE ALSO : Helena Rubinstein Travel Retail Asia Pacific launches The Black Bandage Discovery in Macau

The impact that COVID-19 has had on our daily lives has made the past year one of the hardest we have had to endure. Maintaining distance and staying home has become part of the new normal. While tough days may still be ahead, new research reveals that our appetite to explore the world remains undiminished and after months of restrictions, travelers are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the roll-out of vaccines and the development of other break-through medical advances in the battle against COVID-19.

With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, leading digital travel platform Booking.com reveals insights from more than 28,000 travelers across 28 countries and territories* to uncover what travelers feel most hopeful about as it becomes safe to travel again, and what support they believe the travel industry needs to get back on its feet.

Travelers’ optimism returns as vaccines fuel hope

Despite knowing that the pandemic finish line has not been reached just yet, three in four Chinese travelers feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021 due to the unwavering commitment of the scientific and medical communities and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. About the same amount of Chinese travelers (73%) state that not being able to travel extensively in 2020 has made them yearn for travel even more in 2021.

The trust in vaccines runs deep, with 72% of Chinese travelers stating that they would not travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, while 67% will only travel to countries that have implemented vaccination programs.

Travel wins in post pandemic priorities

Despite feeling mostly optimistic, Chinese travelers acknowledge that not being able to travel in 2020 like they used to in previous years has had a significant effect on their well-being, with over half of Chinese travelers (56%) reporting a negative impact on their mental health and 50% of them having felt imprisoned in their own home due to travel restrictions.

65% of Chinese travelers say travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. So much so that 75% of Chinese travelers would even go so far as stating that they would rather go on a vacation in 2021 than find true love. Meanwhile 71% of Chinese travelers would prioritize traveling over success at work, preferring to go on vacation than get promoted.

Beijing
Source: Shutterstock

Seven in ten of Chinese travelers (71%) have used the increased time at home to plan future travel. With the pandemic being effectively curbed in China, we are seeing an increasing appetite for domestic travel as well as the indelible love of long-haul getaways among Chinese travelers, with 68% of them have banked more vacation days, so are excited about the potential of taking longer vacations in 2021. When dreaming about their next vacation, two in three of Chinese travelers (66%) feel confident that they will be able to hit the beach by the summer this year, and 27% say a relaxing beach or spa trip will be their preferred first trip when it is safe to do so.

A joint effort for a common goal

To help travelers safely rediscover the destinations they long for, there appears to be a consensus that governments, travelers and the wider travel ecosystem need to work together.

Following the impact that COVID-19 has had on the travel industry, 98% of Chinese travelers think the industry needs to be supported to get back on its feet. 76% of Chinese travelers believe that government financial stimuli are now needed to help travel’s recovery and 52% worry that the industry would not survive unless it is supported with government grants. In terms of more practical regulations, 78% Chinese travelers state that wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing is needed, and 79% say that governments should collaborate with travel associations and providers to set more consistent standards.

Whilst 70% of Booking.com’s accommodation partners surveyed are cautiously optimistic about the future of their business, they share travelers’ mindset that the industry needs support, as the majority of them would like to see governments do more in the future to support the travel industry during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Three key areas that need to be addressed, according to properties of all types and sizes, are more consistent international standards when it comes to travel advice & rules, speeding up vaccine roll-out programmes and wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing.

accommodation
Source: Shutterstock

But with 62% of accommodation providers expecting to see an increase in interest for travel in 2021, they continue to do their part to ensure travelers feel safe, with almost 70% that have implemented increased health & safety measures and improved cleaning processes.

Accommodation providers are not the only ones willing to roll up their sleeves, with 75% of Chinese travelers willing to accept only being able to travel if they could prove they have been vaccinated. Meanwhile 72% Chinese travelers would be willing to only travel in small groups of 2-6 people, and 31% Chinese travelers will buy vouchers for family and friends for them to use when it is safe to travel again.

SEE ALSO : Star Brands Travel Retail debuts in Hainan

Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: “Booking.com remains optimistic that at some point in the not-so-distant future, everyone may once again be able to travel and experience the world together. As we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, we remain committed to supporting everyone on their journey to getting back to travel, as it is safe to do so, working together with all those in the travel industry to ensure its recovery for a better, brighter future. And with our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, when the time is right to discover the places, cultures and experiences we have all been dreaming of, we will make sure you can find them on Booking.com.”

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