More than 80% of Chinese travellers plan to travel in 2H2020: Ctrip

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Most Chinese travellers willing to increase or maintain their travel expenditure on their next trip: Ctrip survey; a tourist visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing, China pictured

Chinese travellers display a strong desire to resume travel this year, with most preferring to travel domestically further afield due to uncertainty around the pandemic overseas, according to a recent Ctrip survey.

The 2H2020 Travel Sentiment Survey by Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab, which polled several thousand users hailing from more than 50 cities across China, showed that 82.6 per cent of respondents are keen to travel in 2H2020. Of these, 80 per cent signalled preference for longer-distance travel between provinces.

Similarly, 80.2 per cent of participants in a recent study by the China Tourism Academy (CTA) said they intend to travel in 3Q2020, marking a recovery of approximately 90 per cent compared to 2019 figures.

Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab researcher Peng Liang said in a press release that pent-up market demand in 1H2020 will be progressively released in 2H2020, should the pandemic die out and cross-province travel open up. According to CTA, the travel market is likely to have a U-shaped recovery this year.

This bodes well for tourism companies and employees, especially as summer vacation and holidays such as Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day near.

Domestic travel reigns supreme

More than half of respondents (57.1 per cent) indicated that they would contemplate going on more domestic trips if outbound travel does not recover in the rest of 2020.

In line with summer holidays and the National Day holiday, results indicated that the peak travel periods will be July, October and August; with 43.1 per cent, 42.6 per cent and 41.9 per cent of respondents preferring these months, respectively.

Western provinces and Hainan province (which is near Hong Kong and Macau) are expected to become choice destinations. In fact, Yunnan, Hainan and Sichuan emerged as the top three most popular destinations. They were followed by – in order of popularity – Xinjiang, Tibet, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, Guangdong and Shandong.

For domestic travel, particularly longer-distance travel within the country, most travellers favoured FIT trips (61.5 per cent) or group tours (51.6 per cent). Meanwhile, 25.6 per cent and 19.4 per cent of respondents indicated interest in customised tours and self-drive trips, respectively.

These trip type preferences were also reflected in Ctrip’s recent bookings, with the three most popular product types being FIT, intra-province group travel, and customised tours. Concurrently, car rental numbers were shown to have recovered to 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, a significantly higher proportion of participants in the CTA study indicated interest in self-drive trips (40 per cent), with the same percentage indicating a preference for trips to scenic destinations.

Departments of cultural and tourism across various destinations in China have also been pushing for plans to revive cross-province group tours, said a spokesperson from the CTA. These plans are set to be rolled out once market conditions are favourable.

Read the full article at TTG Asia:

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