May Day Air Travel Resumes to Pre-Pandemic Levels

by Alice

Chinese tourists embraced international travel during the recent May Day holiday, venturing to diverse destinations like Saudi Arabia alongside traditional favorites in Southeast Asia, according to industry experts.

From May 1 to Sunday, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore ranked among the top 10 destinations for Chinese travelers, with the latter three countries offering visa-free entries, reported Qunar, a leading online travel agency based in Beijing.


Qunar noted record-high booking volumes for international flights and overseas accommodations during the five-day holiday period.


Unconventional destinations such as Saudi Arabia, Spain, Hungary, France, Austria, and Italy witnessed a surge in travel bookings compared to the previous year. Additionally, Chinese tourists showed interest in exploring niche locales like Murmansk in Russia, Athens, Santorini in Greece, and smaller cities in Spain and Portugal.


Xiao Peng, a researcher at Qunar’s big data research institute, highlighted a growing trend among Chinese travelers towards in-depth exploration, citing visits to Burgundy in France for its renowned wine culture, Otaru in Japan famous for its role in the film “Love Letter,” and Zermatt in Switzerland for year-round skiing opportunities. Even Recife, Brazil, hometown of soccer legend Rivaldo, attracted Chinese tourists.

Small group tours with flexible itineraries gained popularity among Chinese travelers, with a preference for self-guided tours for short distances and organized group tours for longer journeys, according to Tuniu, another online travel agency.

Tuniu reported that travelers opted for package deals combining flights and accommodations, particularly for destinations like the Maldives, Bali in Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan, favoring a self-guided approach.

Cruise vacations also saw high demand during the May Day holiday, with many routes departing from Shanghai to Fukuoka and Okinawa in Japan nearing full capacity, as per Tuniu’s observations.



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