Chinese Tourism Agencies Report Surge in Mid- and Long-Distance Trip Bookings for May Day Holidays 2024

Chinese tourism surges for May Day 2024, with Japan and Southeast Asia as top destinations, boosting global travel recovery post-pandemic.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Chinese Tourism Agencies Report Surge in Mid- and Long-Distance Trip Bookings for May Day Holidays 2024

Chinese Tourism Agencies Report Surge in Mid- and Long-Distance Trip Bookings for May Day Holidays 2024

Chinese tourism agencies are reporting a significant increase in bookings for mid- and long-distance trips during the upcoming May Day holidays in 2024. The surge in demand is particularly notable for visa-free countries, which are gaining popularity among Chinese tourists seeking diverse and exciting experiences.

According to data from online travel platforms like and Tongcheng Travel, the booking volume for long-distance trips accounts for over half of the total bookings for the May Day holidays. Japan has emerged as the top overseas destination, with related bookings more than tripling year-on-year. The depreciation of the Japanese yen is expected to make Japan an even more attractive tourist destination for Chinese travelers.

Visa-free countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, are also witnessing robust bookings. "More than 63% of Chinese residents say they are ready to return to exploring the world, with just 10% avoiding international travel altogether," said a spokesperson from The return of Chinese travelers is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, contributing $11.1 trillion to the global economy.

Why this matters: The surge in Chinese outbound tourism during the May Day holidays has significant implications for the global travel industry. As the world's largest outbound travel market, China's post-pandemic travel boom is expected to provide a much-needed boost to economies heavily reliant on tourism. The shift in preferences towards visa-free countries and mid- to long-distance destinations also highlights the evolving tastes and aspirations of Chinese travelers.

Domestically, the travel boom is evident across China, with people flocking to scenic spots like the ancient city wall in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. Popular destinations include Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Chengdu. The development of the tourism sector is expected to contribute to China's steady economic recovery.

The Chinese government has introduced various measures to facilitate tourism and business exchanges, such as restoring the 15-day visa-free entry policy for citizens of Singapore and Brunei, and introducing visa-free policies for citizens from several European countries and Malaysia. As a result, the number of foreign nationals entering China visa-free has surged, accounting for over 60% of the total number of visitors from these countries.

Industry experts predict that the upcoming May Day holiday will see a significant increase in international travelers entering China, with inbound tourist bookings surging by 130% compared to the same period last year. The travel boom is expected to fuel a much-desired round of consumption and contribute to the recovery of the global tourism industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese outbound tourism for May Day 2024 surges, with long-distance trips over 50% of bookings.
  • Japan emerges as top overseas destination, with bookings tripling year-on-year due to weaker yen.
  • Visa-free Southeast Asian countries see robust bookings as Chinese travelers resume international travel.
  • Chinese inbound tourism expected to surge 130% for May Day 2024, boosting global tourism recovery.
  • China's tourism sector development contributes to steady economic recovery post-pandemic.