Long haul destinations gain prominence as well as superior quality, personalized travel experiences
HANGZHOU, China, Oct. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Fliggy, a leading online travel platform and wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), has released its travel data for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays in China.
This year’s 8-day Golden Week holiday saw a double-digit growth in the total value of fulfilled transactions for hotel and flight bookings within China compared to the same period in 2019. The number of people who made bookings for international flights reached a peak for the year, while in the month leading up to the holiday, the total value of visa application service transactions through Fliggy witnessed a remarkable increase of over 70% compared to the month leading up to this year’s Labor Day holiday.
As China celebrated its first National Day holiday following the lifting of all COVID travel restrictions, four major travel trends have emerged in terms of destination choices, preferred travel styles and experiences, and spending appetite.
Trend 1: Rise in independent travel demand
There has been a notable surge in consumer demand for flexible itineraries and personalized travel experiences. The total value of fulfilled transactions for local leisure tourism services such as snorkeling and helicopter sightseeing at international destinations, booked on Fliggy’s platform during this year’s Golden Week, have soared nearly ninefold compared to last year. Destinations such as the Maldives, Luxembourg, French Polynesia, Argentina, Egypt, and Kenya have all experienced multiple growth rates in total fulfilled transaction volumes over corresponding 2019 figures.
Trend 2: Long-haul destinations have gained prominence
In China, Sichuan, Beijing, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Gansu, Xinjiang, Guangxi, Qinghai and Jiangsu are the top domestic destinations for long-haul trips in terms of fulfilled transaction volumes for guided tour and independent tour products.
For outbound travel, there is a trend of travelers opting for destinations farther away. Apart from destinations within the popular 4-hour flight range from China, countries like Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iceland, and Egypt have also become increasingly popular for outbound travel and saw some of the highest fulfilled transaction volumes in bookings.
Trend 3: Increasing emphasis on travel quality
There has been a noticeable uptick in the demand for superior quality, tailored travel experiences. On Fliggy’s platform, the number of bookings for four and five-star hotels during Golden Week increased by over 50% compared to the same period in 2019. Moreover, the total fulfilled transaction volume for customized travel products rose more than 20% compared to 2019.
Trend 4: The Asian Games fueled growth in Hangzhou and Competition Zones
The Asian Games sparked a remarkable upsurge in hotel and accommodation bookings during this year’s Golden Week in the six Competition Zone cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jinhua, Huzhou, Wenzhou, and Shaoxing. The total number of room nights booked across hotels in these cities increased by 60% compared to the same period in 2019.
Zhang Chen, Vice President of Fliggy, said, “The above trends reveal a growing preference towards higher quality, personalized journeys and an increasing interest in exploring destinations that were once considered distant. The shift in needs and the rise in spending power indicate a discerning mindset among the post-pandemic Chinese travelers. At Fliggy, we are dedicated to embracing these evolving needs and helping our customers to access exceptional travel experiences that cater to their preferences.”
Fliggy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), and is one of the leading online travel platforms in China. Fliggy places a strong emphasis on innovation in its products and services, catering to the increasingly personalized and diversified needs of consumers both in China and overseas markets.
Leveraging Fliggy’s advantage as part of the Alibaba ecosystem, merchants can benefit from the vast user base within the Group. Fliggy also collaborates with partners through a full-service management format, helping more merchants, especially small and medium-sized ones, easily and efficiently share opportunities enabled by digitalization.
Fliggy’s long-term strategy is to promote the digital transformation of the tourism industry, using an open platform and mechanisms to help the industry make better use of the digital business infrastructure for their operations.
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