Interest in travel to Chinese mainland bounces back: TripTrends

Since Mainland China resumed issuing all types of visas for foreign nationals on March 15, there has been an influx of bookings as travellers seek to rediscover China once again.

Analysis of’s data showed that international travellers’ interest in Mainland China has increased significantly in the last few weeks compared to the same period in 2019.

Cities in China are seeing encouraging inbound growth, such as Xiamen, pictured

Looking at the travel period between March 15 and April 14, 2023, international users searching for hotels in Mainland China on was up 126% compared to the same period in 2019, and a seven-fold increase on 2022 levels.

Hotel bookings by international travellers also followed the same trend, rising by a third (32%) compared to pre-pandemic levels.

However, bookings to the destination are still recovering at 26% below 2019 levels due to the constrained supply of flights.

Meanwhile, travellers from Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK, the US, Japan and Singapore made the most flight bookings to the country last month, confirming the pent-up demand for travel to the region. Countries like Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Australia were those making the most flight bookings in 2019, and have since evolved from the pandemic.

While the UK and the US did not feature in the top list for flight bookings to Mainland China before the pandemic, the last month has shown significant growth for inbound travel to the region from these two countries.

Data shows that Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou remain the most popular flight destinations, while the cities of Xiamen, the south-east beach city, and Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda, have also seen encouraging inbound growth as the industry continues to see growth in the premium leisure sector.

During the pandemic, travellers turned to last-minute bookings due to ever-changing travel restrictions, however, the latest data shows this has now reverted beyond pre-pandemic levels.

Back in 2019, users booked their hotel stays around four days in advance of their stay. In 2023, customers are gaining confidence in the market with last month’s data revealing that the booking window has increased to six days.

The same trend can be seen for those booking air travel, with travellers now booking flights 15 days in advance, up from 14 days pre-pandemic.

These encouraging figures are echoed across the Asia-Pacific region, with bookings to Japan and South Korea also recording strong year-on-year growth.

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