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China's travel companies foretell huge earnings

By Ma Qing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-02-07 16:37

Visitors are seen at an ancient town in Xichang, Sichuan province, Jan 27, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

China's travel companies are expecting large earnings, as tourism orders for domestic attractions and hotels have doubled during the Spring Festival holidays, ThePaper reported on Tuesday.

The number of orders for tickets to domestic scenic spots and for domestic hotels over the weekend rose by 638 percent and 273 percent respectively year-on-year as of the afternoon of Feb 3.

Searches for "night tour" and "Lantern Festival" doubled in the past week compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from Ctrip, an online travel platform.

It is worth mentioning that the fireworks display in Hangzhou has returned after 11 years and boosted orders for river view rooms by over 100 percent from Feb 4 to 6 compared with Feb 1 to 3.

Data from the travel portal Tuniu shows that orders for Lantern Festival trips in 2023 have increased by 56 percent year-on-year.

In terms of domestic travel, short trips became popular during the Lantern Festival, holding 52 percent of orders, and long-haul destinations such as Yunnan and Hainan were still favored.

During the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, there were 308 million domestic tourist visits, up 23.1 percent year-on-year, recovering to 88.6 percent of the 2019 level.

A domestic tourism revenue of 375.8 billion yuan ($55.8 billion) was achieved, up 30 percent year-on-year, recovering to 73.1 percent of the 2019 level, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The number of trips and travel-related spending during the seven-day holiday showed a steady increase in the first three days, with a peak on the third day, followed by a slight fall, said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy.

Travel companies in China are set to earn big. Lijiang Tourism Group's annual net profit attributed to listed shareholders for 2022 is expected to see a turnaround of 2.5 million yuan to 3.75 million yuan, according to Dongguan Securities.

China's recent decision to optimize COVID-19 response measures has seen a rebound in tourism during the Spring Festival holiday, which is indicative of a surge in consumer demand for travel.

Tourism supply capacity across China has recovered much less than tourism demand, given the shortage of workers in tourism chains including hotels, restaurants, scenic spots and transportation during the Spring Festival holiday.

As a result, current tourism demand may remain below the actual level. The surge in travel demand is expected to continue, and the performance of the travel chain is still promising in 2023.

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