Easier travel fuels Chinese people's interest in global destinations

(Xinhua) 16:29, June 06, 2024

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- As the Chinese traditional Dragon Boat Festival and summer vacation are around the corner, Chinese people are enthusiastically planning travels, with many of them opting for international destinations this year as traveling abroad becomes more convenient.

As of Monday, bookings for outbound travel products during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday surged by 100 percent compared to the same period last year, data from China Youth Travel Service showed.

According to the online travel platform Mafengwo, Chinese travelers are mostly opting for short trips to destinations near China for this year's Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Duanwu Festival. Of all the destinations, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are some of the top choices.

The appeal of distant attractions is also growing. Statistics from Trip.com, another online travel service provider, showed that tourism bookings to the United Arab Emirates and Georgia spiked by 141 and 139 percent, respectively.

With greater ease in traveling abroad, many Chinese tourists, especially those of younger generations, are now expecting to personalize their trips, visiting places they like in ways they prefer.

A college student surnamed Liu from south China's Guangdong Province has made plans to rent a car in Malaysia with three other friends. "We will travel between Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Penang to discover the most authentic night markets and popular local restaurants."

The popularity of outbound travel results from a number of measures facilitating cross-border people-to-people exchanges China introduced in 2024, such as simplifying visa procedures, concluding visa exemption agreements with more foreign countries, and establishing direct flight routes to travel destinations overseas.

Optimized visa procedures save tourists' time and economic costs and can directly enhance tourists' interest in outbound tourism, said Chen Liteng, an analyst with Chinese economic information platform 100ec.cn.

Against the backdrop of these favorable policies, relevant enterprises raced to offer new tourist products and improve services. This, coupled with the increase of international flights, further sparked Chinese travelers' enthusiasm for overseas destinations.

During this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday, the Maldives is expected to receive 20 percent more Chinese tourists compared to last year, according to an article on ThePaper.cn.

The island country and China agreed to mutually implement visa-free entry policies in February 2023. From January to May this year, the Maldives recorded 91,073 entries of Chinese tourists, making China the No. 1 source of overseas visitors.

"The Chinese market will become one of our most important markets. We greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors," said Zihuny Rasheed, deputy managing director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corp.

He noted that the Maldives is taking multiple measures to cater to the needs of Chinese visitors, including promoting the use of WeChat Pay among local businesses.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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