China Witnesses Outbound Travel Boom Preceding Golden Week Holidays


Key Takeaways:

  • Chinese travelers exhibit a significant surge in international and domestic travel bookings ahead of the Golden Week holidays, celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.
  • Popular foreign destinations have increased bookings compared to the previous year, with travelers now opting for unique and immersive experiences.
  • Rail ticket sales in China hit a historic high, indicating a strong demand for travel and a robust recovery in the cultural and tourism markets.

Enthusiasm for Global Exploration

Ahead of the annual Golden Week holidays beginning on October 1, China’s outbound travel sector is bustling.

The fervor for international travel has rebounded spectacularly, with bookings for popular destinations like Singapore, Australia, and Thailand soaring twenty times compared to last year, as reported by travel provider 

According to a CNBC report, this surge comes from China lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions in December and ending a ban on group tours to over 70 countries in August.

Apart from well-trodden destinations, travelers are also exploring off-the-beaten-path locales like Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan in pursuit of unique and authentic experiences, as CEO Jane Sun noted.

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Domestic Travel Flourishes

The report noted that simultaneously, domestic travel within China is experiencing a robust growth, with bookings surging four times compared to last year’s Golden Week.

The favorable climate in different provinces and the charm of autumnal tours draw residents to explore their homeland extensively.

Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou are emerging as the top travel spots during this holiday period.

The hosting of the Asian Games has particularly propelled Hangzhou into the spotlight, seeing a surge in travel bookings.

Railways Reflect Rising Travel Trend:

According to a China Daily article, a historic high in daily rail ticket sales, peaking at 26.95 million on September 22, mirrors the escalating travel enthusiasm among the populace.

As a spokesperson from China Railway’s passenger transport department remarked, the record-breaking sales underscore a stronger demand for travel during the upcoming National Day Golden Week.

What Do We Think

The marked increase in travel bookings, both outbound and domestic, underscores a significant pent-up demand for travel among Chinese citizens post the pandemic-induced hiatus.

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The diversification in travel choices, seeking popular and lesser-known destinations, exhibits a newfound enthusiasm for explorative and experiential travel.

As China stands as the world’s largest source of outbound tourists, this resurgence in travel activity is a positive indicator for China’s domestic tourism sector and a hopeful sign for the global tourism industry inching toward recovery.


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