Skyscanner: Chinese Outbound independent travelers continue to rise during May Day holiday

With Chinese independent travel growing increasingly prevalent and visa procedures becoming easily accessible in 2017, independent outbound travelers from China has witnessed a continued rise in frequency and popularity. Skyscanner big data on independent outbound travel show that the number of searches during one of the public holidays May Day holiday (Three day-off from April 29th to May 1st) in China exceeded one million times, an annual increase of 25%.

The peak period for outbound travel falls on April 28-29, while off-peak travel during rearranged holidays has enjoyed increasing popularity with tourists. Based on the big data on independent outbound travel, Skyscanner identifies the “most attractive” destinations as well as the “most eye-catching” departure cities, and reminds independent outbound tourists to pay attention to changes in airfares and to book their tickets ahead of another Chinese public, which is Dragon Boat Festival (Three day-off from May 28th to May 30th).


Short-distance outbound travel remains popular

The May Day holiday season has become the most popular holiday season with Chinese, overtaking the Qingming Festival (Three day-off from April 2nd to April 4th) in 2017. For domestic tourists, the most popular outbound destinations during May Day holiday include Thailand, Japan and the US. Tourists with these three countries as their destinations account for one-third of all the outbound travelers. Furthermore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Vietnam have been ranked among the top ten outbound destinations.

A closer look reveals that Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore continue to secure their presence among the top ten outbound destinations; The US is ranked third, thanks to its abundant and diversified travel resources; Canada makes its debut on this list and enjoyed the most obvious increase during the May Day holiday, up 42% annually. More tourists choose to visit US and Canada, implying an increase in the number of travelers who prefer long-distance trips.

Visa on arrival make last minute travel decisions possible

More countries are offering visa on arrival as well as visa exemption policies for Chinese tourists, giving independent travelers more freedom in choosing their destinations. United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Serbia have witnessed visible growth compared with the search rate during the same period in the previous year, and the United Arab Emirates even posted an increase of 49%. Morocco benefits most from the new visa policy, from receiving little attention last year 766% increase in 2017.

With the introduction of the new visa policy, Serbia’s search rate skyrocketed significantly, up 700% annually. As Chinese citizens’ passports wield greater command, outbound travel has become more convenient, leading to a greater willingness for outbound travel. As a result, Chinese citizens have more outbound destinations at their disposal. Skyscanner also reminds all outbound tourists that they can save considerably on travel expenses by paying attention to changes in airfares and book in advance.

China’s tier-1 and tier 2 cities are the main sources of outbound tourists

For the popular departure cities in China, Skyscanner’s big data on searches for outbound air tickets indicate that Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are ranked the top three during the May Day holiday in 2017. Specifically, over 51% outbound tourists come from three cities. In terms of tier-2 cities, Chongqing, Chengdu and Nanjing revealed impressive results. Nanjing reported an annual growth of 27%, far above runner-up Chengdu, which saw an increase of 9%. The number of flights departing from Nanjing Lukou International Airport, as the part of its summer and autumn flight plan, increased by some 19.5% compared with the spring and winter flight plan.

In addition, there are more than ten new international routes to Phuket Island, Kuala Lumpur and London, and these flights even offer inexpensive airfares. The increase in flights and routes are direct contributors to the growing number of searches for independent outbound travel and the greater willingness for such travel. Furthermore, after attaining its GDP goal of over one trillion yuan in 2016, Nanjing’s vigorous economic growth also became one of the major driving forces behind the expanding body of outbound tourists.

Skyscanner’s smart functions satisfy your requirement of economical, independent outbound trip With the holidays approaching, tourists will soon find it difficult to make the right decision when it comes to their destinations. If you use the destination-free search functions in Skyscanner, you can easily find locations providing visas on arrival and visa exemptions. With Skyscanner’s travel fare aggregator, you can search for an entire month’s worth of airline ticket information to find a trip that suits your budget. 

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Media Contact
Company Name: Skyscanner Beijing Office
Contact Person: Tia Ma
Phone: +86 13716651619
Country: China