Intelligence China bookings for longhaul outpace APAC in 1Q2019 By TTG Asia / Posted on 16 January, 2019 1:08 Forward bookings for APAC growing slower than for longhaul desitnations Forward bookings from China to Asia-Pacific destinations are down 2.6% for 1Q2019, while longhaul destinations are seeing significant growth, according to a Forwardkeys analysis. Forwardkeys suggests that this could indicate that longhaul travel is typically booked more in advance, while Asia-Pacific might benefit later on from last-minute bookers. Forward bookings for APAC growing slower than for longhaul desitnations Overall, current forward bookings for international air travel in 1Q2019 are 4.4% ahead, and 8% ahead in December 2018. Bookings are 2% ahead for the Chinese New Year period, defined by ForwardKeys to be from January 24 to February 16, compared to the comparable peak period in 2018. Looking at the daily departure pattern, there will be two busy departures. In 2019, the winter break for school children starts earlier in relation to the Chinese New Year when compared to 2018. The change in the school break dates has resulted in an early departure from January 26. The second departure wave will happen on the weekend before the Golden Week, as many travellers probably take a few days of annual leave to make an extended holiday, Forwardkeys surmised. Japan had been seeing good growth in Chinese visitors after declines in competing regional destinations South Korea and Thailand, until the recent hurricane and earthquake disasters disrupted its upward trend. Since the Chinese government banned group travel to South Korea, the latter has seen clear recovery from the market from mid-2018 onwards. Chinese FIT travellers started returning to South Korea as early as late 2017 following a ban on Chinese group travel to South Korea, however it was not until mass group travel to the destination resumed that overall year-on-year performance started improving.