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China readies for record Labor Day travel

China readies for record Labor Day travel
China readies for record Labor Day travel
Written by Harry Johnson

This year’s China’s Labor Day domestic travel is down to three factors: the release of pent-up demand, control of COVID-19 and imaginative marketing

  • This year’s Chinese domestic Labor Day travel is set to exceed pre-pandemic levels
  • Fewer people will be travelling as part of a group this spring
  • Outbound travel is still almost impossible for the Chinese

Chinese domestic travel during the forthcoming Labor Day holiday is set to exceed pre-pandemic levels substantially, according to research undertaken by the industry analysts.

In recent years, Labor Day has again become a significant national holiday. In 2008 it was cut back from a seven-day to a three-day break; but was extended to four days in 2019 and to five days in the last two years. Therefore, for those in the travel and hospitality industry, it is eagerly awaited.

As of mid-April, total flight tickets issued for travel over the peak period, 1st – 5th May, were 5.8% ahead of where they were at the equivalent moment in 2019 and bookings for the extended holiday period, 28th April – 9th May, were 9.8% ahead.

China’s capital, Beijing, and Shanghai, where the Disney Resort is celebrating its 5th birthday with a ‘Year of Magical Surprises’, will be the most popular destinations for holiday travel this spring, with bookings 31.4% and 9.7% ahead respectively. The country’s southernmost city, Sanya, situated on the holiday island, Hainan, in the South China Sea, is proving exceptionally popular, with bookings currently 59.1% ahead of 2019 levels.

Fewer people will be travelling as part of a group this spring. An analysis of passenger profiles shows that the share of group bookings is down from 17% in 2019 to 13% in 2021. By comparison, the proportion of people travelling solo or in pairs is up to 56%, compared to 52% in 2019.