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The pandemic’s impact on Chinese travel habits

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How has the pandemic impacted Chinese traveler behavior? We explore the results of a recent survey by Booking.com

In a normal year, millions of people make their way home for Chinese New Year – also known as Spring Festival. But with parts of China implementing new travel restrictions and COVID-19 measures, this year’s festivities (beginning February 4 and ending February 26, with the actual Chinese New Year taking place on February 12) will look drastically different. 

Here, we delve into recent Booking.com research to reveal the impact of COVID-19 on Chinese traveler behaviors and priorities. 

The pandemic’s impact on travel

It goes without saying that the pandemic has had a profound impact on traveler behavior. For Chinese travelers, the Coronavirus led a resounding 73% of those surveyed to delay booking a vacation. Additionally, 64% of respondents canceled or rescheduled an already-booked vacation. 

Future travel plans

When asked about future travel plans, 17% of Chinese travelers said they already booked their next trip while 44% have travel plans but haven’t booked yet. Of those without travel plans, 28% are thinking about their next trip, and only 12% of respondents indicated they don’t plan to travel in the next 12 months. 

Destination preferences

Like most of the world, domestic travel is kickstarting China’s recovery. Compared to the previous year, 53% of those surveyed are more likely to travel in their own country and 46% are more likely to travel with their own car. Additionally, 33% of respondents indicated they have already booked a domestic accommodation to work from. 

Accommodation preferences

Perhaps due to their all-inclusive perks, resorts have gained popularity among Chinese travelers, with 40% of respondents more likely to stay at one compared to the previous year. As for other property types, 34% of those surveyed are more likely to stay in a large hotel and 32% are more likely to stay in a vacation rental. Cleanliness, safety, and accommodation size were the most desired accommodation features among respondents. 

Ahead of Chinese New Year, partners can boost their visibility with the Early 2021 Deal. The deal is a promotional offer, providing travelers with a discount while helping partners to attract demand. The discounts start at 20 percent and are valid for stays between January 5, 2021 and March 31, 2021. 

 

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Early 2021 Deal

To activate the Early 2021 Deal, visit the Promotions tab on the Extranet. 

Visit the Extranet

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Takeaway
  • Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a trip in the last 12 months
  • In total, ~2,000 respondents from China, aged between 18 and 54, were surveyed
  • Respondents completed a survey in September 2020