China remains a perennial favourite destination for Singaporean travellers, fuelled by a bevy of air links to first- and second-tier Chinese cities, and growing access to in-depth and immersive experiences in the vast country.
Ong Hanjie, managing director of EU Asia Holidays, observed that although recent “K-pop, K-drama and J-beauty” trends have drawn many Singaporeans to South Korea and Japan during peak seasons, he still sees families visiting China during and outside of holiday periods.
He commented: “China is still one of the countries that Singaporeans consider travelling to at any time of the year. The main attractions of our tour packages (are) breathtaking, picturesque sites in China where they can be immersed in tranquil nature.”
More unique draws include spending time in different ethnic villages to interact with tribesfolk, visiting filming sites from movies by director Zhang Yimou, and even Singaporean-Chinese tracking down their ancestral villages.
“With the ethnic Chinese constituting a majority of Singapore’s population, there is a number of Singaporeans ‘returning’ to China to seek their heritage roots and visit ancestral villages in Xiamen and Guangdong,” observed Dynasty Travel’s director, public relations & communications, Alicia Seah.
She explained: “These ‘root-seeking’ travellers can range from a small group of family members, comprising six to eight persons, to a big clan of about 50 to 100 visiting their ancestral villages.”
Besides these provinces, Singaporeans are also drawn to the picturesque outdoors of Zhangjiajie, Yunnan, Harbin and Beijing, the latter two being popular winter destinations for young families.
“China is one of the top outbound destinations from Singapore after Indonesia and Thailand. More than one million Singaporeans visit China each year,” noted Seah.