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China's outbound tourism rebounds during Spring Festival, Self-Driving Tours Surging by 1556%
During the 2024 Spring Festival holiday, Chinese tourists exhibited a trend towards diversified and personalized travel preferences, with overseas self-driving tour bookings skyrocketing by 1556%.
During the 2024 Spring Festival holiday, the domestic and international tourism markets were ablaze with big data, with Chinese and foreign tourists flocking to major global hotspots. On February 18th, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism released the situation of the cultural and tourism market during the 2024 Spring Festival holiday. According to calculations, during the 8-day Spring Festival holiday, there were 474 million domestic tourist trips nationwide, an increase of 34.3% compared to the previous year, and a 19.0% increase over the same period in 2019 according to comparable metrics; domestic tourists spent a total of 6326.87 billion yuan on trips, a 47.3% increase year-on-year, and a 7.7% increase over the same period in 2019 according to comparable metrics. The number of inbound and outbound tourists was approximately 6.83 million, with about 3.6 million outbound tourists and about 3.23 million inbound tourists.
According to data from the National Immigration Administration, during the 2024 Spring Festival holiday, border inspection agencies nationwide ensured the entry and exit of 13.517 million Chinese and foreign individuals, with an average of 1.69 million per day, an increase of 2.8 times compared to the same period in 2023.
"Sizzling Hot" Destinations Continued
From the end of 2023 to the beginning of 2024, popular outbound destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore successively announced visa-free policies for Chinese tourists, making "Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand" the main destination for short-haul outbound trips during the Spring Festival holiday.
According to statistics from platforms such as Fliggy and Qunar, there was a significant increase in travel bookings during the Spring Festival holiday to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, the three countries that recently waived visas for Chinese tourists.
The performance of " Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand " in tourism bookings was also remarkable. Ctrip data shows that during the Spring Festival period, outbound Ctrip car rental orders increased by 53% compared to 2019, and overseas scenic spot ticket orders increased by over 130% compared to 2019. Among them, tourism orders for " Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand " visa-free countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia increased significantly, collectively growing by over 30% compared to 2019. Overall, the top ten popular outbound destinations during the Spring Festival holiday were Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, the United States, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates, with the three destinations of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand ranking in the top five. It can be seen that with the support of policies, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand has become the preferred destination for many short-haul outbound tourists.
Diversification of Niche Destinations
During the Spring Festival holiday, Chinese tourists' overseas destinations became more diversified and niche. According to statistics from the Qunar platform, during the Spring Festival holiday, Chinese tourists visited over 125 countries and more than 1700 cities worldwide, including Ethiopia and Madagascar in Africa, Cuba and Uruguay in South America, and Lithuania, Monaco, and Malta in Europe. Tourists experienced the sunshine in Hurghada, Egypt, visited historical sites in Genoa, Italy, and experienced the chill of the Arctic in Tromso, Norway. Many niche destinations were also popular, and many places required booking hotels six months in advance.
Ctrip data shows a significant increase in the popularity of countries along the Belt and Road. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, the Maldives, and other countries saw significant increases in orders, with growth rates exceeding 800%, 60%, 40%, and 40%, respectively, compared to 2019. Far-flung countries such as the United Kingdom, Argentina, and Norway also saw significant increases in orders, with growth rates exceeding 60%, 40%, and 200%, respectively, compared to 2019.
From the perspective of self-driving platforms like Zuzuche, niche overseas destinations are entering the sight of Chinese tourists. During this year's Spring Festival, the number of tourists traveling abroad by self-driving increased by 1556% compared to the previous year. The fastest-growing international destinations include Christchurch, Tromso, Gold Coast, Hobart, Abu Dhabi, Langkawi, Seville, and Riyadh. Christchurch saw an increase of over 89 times, Gold Coast over 67 times, Tromso over 58 times, and Abu Dhabi over 85 times.
The discovery of these niche destinations reflects the trend of tourists pursuing local cultural experiences, differentiated experiences, and deep tourism experiences.
Spring Festival Holiday Ignites "Long-haul Travel"
The 8-day Spring Festival holiday has also ignited Chinese tourists' desire for more distant destinations. According to data from Fliggy, one of the significant features of this year's Spring Festival was the extension of outbound travel distances from the "4-hour flight circle" to the "12-hour flight circle." Popular destinations in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Africa have risen rapidly, with destinations such as New Zealand, Russia, France, the United States, and Egypt seeing significant increases in bookings, nearly 15 times higher than last year.
According to data from Qunar, destinations such as Melbourne, London, Istanbul, Dubai, Auckland, and Cairo, which are directly more than 10 hours away, have become popular cities for Spring Festival outbound travel. Among them, Dubai saw the highest growth rate, increasing by more than 10 times compared to the same period in 2023. The farthest flight ticket purchased during this year's Spring Festival was from Singapore to New York on February 16th, with a flight time of over 18 hours. The popularity of long-haul travel during the Spring Festival is based on the gradually increasing demand for outbound travel by Chinese residents and the significant marginal benefits of the 8-day continuous holiday this year.
"Family with Children" is the Main Force of the Spring Festival, Customized Tours See Significant Growth
During the Spring Festival holiday, long-distance travel enthusiasm significantly increased. According to Ctrip data, family trips and parent-child trips have become the mainstream way of travel, with family and parent-child orders accounting for 45% and 16%, respectively; overseas parent-child ticket orders accounted for as much as 58%; in flight ticket orders, family orders accounted for 42%, an increase of 80% compared to the previous year.
Customized tours, with their free and personalized travel experiences, have also seen significant growth. With the increasing demand for customization, various forms of tourism have emerged. According to the Ctrip report, domestic charter guide orders during the Spring Festival increased by 200% year-on-year, and overseas destination orders increased by 10 times compared to the previous year. Travel methods are constantly innovating, and family travel and personalized customized tours have become the two highlights of travel during the Spring Festival, which are highly sought after by tourists, allowing people to discover more interesting ways of traveling during their journeys.
Overseas self-driving tours are booming, with self-driving orders surging by 1556%
Whether it's a family trip or a leisurely getaway, self-driving is the most convenient mode of travel. According to the "2024 Spring Festival Car Rental Self-Driving Travel Report" released by Ctrip, overseas self-driving tours were popular during the Spring Festival period, with orders for overseas car rentals on the Ctrip platform increasing by over 20 times compared to the previous year, with the longest rental period extending up to 49 days. Melbourne, Australia saw a more than 56-fold increase in car rental orders during the Spring Festival, while Dubai experienced an almost 50-fold increase, and New Zealand saw orders for self-driving tours during the Spring Festival surge by over 35 times.
Zuzuche, a global self-driving tour platform, has released the "2024 Spring Festival Global Self-Driving Travel Report," which shows a staggering 1556% year-on-year increase in outbound self-driving travelers during this year's Spring Festival. From the data, it's evident that self-driving has become an increasingly popular choice for travelers, whether it's for adventure or family leisure. Regardless of the preference for exploration or family relaxation, travelers can find their desired pace and scenery through self-driving.

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