Asia-Pacific looks set to be the biggest beneficiary from the greater numbers of Chinese travelling abroad during the Lunar New Year, according to ForwardKeys.
Daily international departures are ahead 11 per cent on a comparable period last year, and ForwardKeys expects South-east Asia will experience additional uplift with the Chinese avoiding South Korea.
ForwardKeys further shows that Chinese travellers are making an early start from the beginning of their winter break at the end of January with figures already significantly ahead. Current bookings show that travellers will begin to peak from February 10 to February 14, ahead of the Chinese New Year (February 16) and the following Golden Week holiday.
Globally, Asia-Pacific is the top destination region. It has a market share of 76 per cent, ahead 13 per cent. But other parts of the world – the Americas, Europe and Africa & the Middle East, are showing steady, healthy growth, as the Chinese become increasingly attracted to international travel.
Japan, Thailand and Taiwan hold their positions as the top three destination countries. New Zealand tops the list of the fastest-growing destinations, ahead 30 per cent on last year; followed by Vietnam, ahead 22.5 per cent; and Hong Kong, ahead 18.3 per cent.
The pattern for Chinese travellers heading home after the celebrations tracks last year’s movement – peaking on February 21 at the end of Golden Week.
Two airports in Japan see the greatest increase in returning numbers – Sapporo, ahead 40 per cent, and Osaka, up 39 per cent. They are followed by Phuket and Dubai, ahead 34 per cent.
Chicago tops the list of those airports benefiting from Chinese homeward bound transfers.