Domestic trips to reach 385m
Spring Festival spending forecast by government to rise by 12.5% from 2017
The domestic tourism market is expecting a boom during the Spring Festival break, with 385 million domestic trips anticipated, up by 12 percent from a year earlier, senior officials said on Tuesday.
The government predicted the travelers will spend up to 476 billion yuan ($75.6 billion) during Spring Festival, up by 12.5 percent year-on-year.
"Traveling has become a major way for Chinese to spend their holidays during Spring Festival, and the holiday tourism market will remain heated this year," said Wang Xiaofeng, vice-chairman of China National Tourism Administration.
"We found that the northerners love to travel to the south for sunbathing while southerners want to experience the snow in the north," said Wang.
The majority of domestic travelers will opt for medium and long-haul travel, with Sanya in Hainan province and Harbin in Heilongjiang province being the top two destination cities, while island, ice and snow travel is the most favored type of travel during the holiday, according to a recent survey conducted by the Tourism Administration.
Wang also noted two significant changes in people's travel habits this year, with 53.7 percent choosing for a do-it-yourself approach without relying on travel agencies. And half of all tourists choose leisure activities as their top motivation rather than shopping or sightseeing.
Apart from domestic spots, overseas destinations also will be a hot market during the holiday break. About 6.5 million people will travel abroad during Spring Festival, a record high, according to the report released by Beijing-based China Tourism Academy and Ctrip, one of the country's largest travel agencies by market share.
The report said tourist destinations cover 68 countries and regions, reaching as far as Antarctica.
Dai Bin, head of the China Tourism Academy, said tailoring trips such as car-themed travel or ski tours, has become a growing trend. Such a trend is reflected in the outbound orders Ctrip has received for the holiday season, with one-fifth of tourists who are going abroad planning to experience a customized tour.
Eighty-three percent of Chinese travelers plan to take their trips in the first quarter of 2018, according to the report.
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