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Emerging trends for upcoming May Day holiday

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-30 14:50

The Inner Street Culture Creative Park is bustling with activity during the night market in Qingxiu district, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on April 16, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

TAIYUAN - As the five-day May Day holiday draws near, data from major Chinese travel platforms indicated that visits to off-the-beaten-path cities, self-guided driving tours and concert-focused excursions have become new trends in holiday travel.

According to a market forecast by Trip.com, hotel bookings in county-level markets have spiked by 68 percent year-on-year during the holiday, outpacing the national average growth rate. Data also shows a rise of 42 percent in countryside trips compared to the same period last year.

As infrastructure improves and hospitality capabilities expand, travel destinations in lower-tier markets are embracing a surge in popularity.

Liu Yang, who works in Shanghai, plans to spend her holiday with friends in Xinchang County, Shaoxing, in East China's Zhejiang province. Liu said the convenient transportation, well-equipped hotels, and reasonable prices in Xinchang make it stand out.

She also noted the appeal of visiting popular filming locations, highlighting the allure of county travel as a brief escape from metropolitan life.

Many tourists also prefer to fly or take a train first and then rent a car upon arrival. This trend is supported by quality tourism routes and favorable policies, such as toll-free access on expressways nationwide for passenger cars with up to seven seats during the holiday.

Fliggy's data exhibits a nearly 50 percent year-on-year increase in car rental bookings in popular domestic cities during the holiday period, with local demand surging more than twice.

According to Ctrip's car rental department, cities like Datong, Taiyuan, Yantai, Ningbo, and Hulun Buir have seen fast growth in car rental orders.

Meanwhile, the resumption of international flight routes and China's visa-free policy for certain countries have fueled outbound tourism.

Ctrip reports a 132 percent year-on-year increase in overseas self-drive car rental orders, with new customers accounting for 60 percent. Fliggy's overseas car rental bookings have surged nearly fourfold year-on-year.

Attending concerts or music festivals in cities has also emerged as a new tourism trend, with hundreds of concerts and music festivals expected to be held nationwide during the holiday.

Fliggy's data shows a doubling of hotel bookings around concert venues compared to the previous year. On the Ctrip platform, hotel bookings in Taiyuan, capital city of North China's Shanxi province, have increased by 105 percent year-on-year during the holiday.

According to Shanxi's culture and tourism department, the tourism boom was driven by the city's full schedule of concerts during the holiday.

The enthusiasm of travelers remains high, and travelers can smoothly book transportation, accommodation, and museum tickets ahead of their trips thanks to the convenient booking systems, said Li Hong, a professor at Beijing International Studies University.

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