Bookings for New Year holiday trips surge across China

(People's Daily Online) 16:06, December 29, 2023

Tour products for the 2024 New Year holiday are selling rapidly, offering a variety of options for travelers.

Tickets for the Forbidden City in Beijing during the three-day holiday have sold out. Beijing tour guide Li Yuanyuan, for example, will lead a six-hour tour group to the Forbidden City each day during the period, with all spots filled.

Skiing, viewing ice sculptures, and soaking in hot springs in some of the country's coldest places have become popular choices for many travelers. This trend has led to a surge in hotel and homestay bookings in northeastern Chinese cities, renowned for their winter landscapes and activities.

As of Dec. 26, hotel bookings in Harbin, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, during the holiday, had increased 25.7 times compared with the same period in 2023, according to data from online travel service provider Qunar.

File photo of the Harbin Ice-Snow World in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Photo/Zhao Yuhang)

Statistics from Tujia, a lodging rental platform, indicated that Harbin has become the most popular destination for those seeking homestays, with bookings increasing 27-fold year on year. Shenyang, another northeastern city, saw a 20-fold surge, while Yanbian, also in the region, experienced an eightfold increase.

From Dec. 1 to 11, the search volume for "skiing" and related travel information from tourists in east China's Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai was 1.5 times higher than that from tourists in the three northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang. Residents from southern provinces such as Guangdong also showed significant interest in skiing, ranking among the top 10 in terms of interest, according to data from Tongcheng Travel, an online travel service provider.

A research institute affiliated with Tongcheng noted that the opening of numerous indoor ski resorts in southern provinces in recent years has made skiing more accessible to locals, broadening the base of skiing enthusiasts in these areas.

Watching the northern lights has emerged as a new trend for New Year's celebrations. According to data from Tongcheng, as of Dec. 11, inquiries for aurora tours on the platform nearly doubled compared to the same period in 2019, with many top tours selling out a month in advance. Popular destinations include Mohe in Heilongjiang, known as China's "North Pole," Hemu village in Kanas of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as well as international locations like Finland, Russia, and Iceland. A report from Ctrip, China's leading online travel agency, indicated that bookings for Finland and Sweden to see the aurora during the holiday have increased by 73 percent and 10 percent, respectively, compared to last month.

Aerial photo shows China's first domestically built cruise ship, the "Adora Magic City," at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in east China's Shanghai. (China News Service/Yin Liqin)

Additionally, inquiries for cruise holidays on Tongcheng's travel platform have surged by 152 percent year on year. China's first domestically built cruise ship, the "Adora Magic City," which will embark on its commercial maiden voyage from Shanghai, has garnered the most attention from tourists. Similarly, trips to the Xisha Islands in south China's Hainan Province and the Three Gorges Reservoir area on the Yangtze River are also popular options.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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