New Year’s Day holiday travel plans heating up

Shanghai, Beijing, Harbin and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, are top choices for travelers who plan to spend the holiday traveling domestically.


File photo of people holding fire crackers. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

December 22, 2023

BEIJING – Train tickets and tour products are hot sellers for the coming New Year’s Day holiday from Dec 30 to Jan 1, as many people have shown a strong desire to welcome in 2024 “on the road”, said tourism operators and insiders.

According to figures from travel portal, tickets for trains departing from Beijing to Zhengzhou, Henan province, and Wuhan, Hubei province, were sold out by 10 am on Saturday — the first day train tickets for the holiday went on sale.

Trains bound to popular destinations such as Xi’an, Shaanxi province, and Chongqing also saw their tickets sell out by Saturday.

“My friends and I planned to visit Harbin, a world of snow and ice in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, after we saw some short videos recording the breathtaking snow views and ice sculptures on Douyin,” said Sun Jingying, a 25-year-old student from Nanchang, Jiangxi province.

“You will never know how much I’m in deep love with snow as I can’t see snow that often in the city where I’m staying,” she added. “It will be very romantic to see the New Year’s countdown with falling snow.”

According to Group, tour bookings for the holiday saw a three-fold increase year-on-year as of Dec 15, and hotel bookings increased fivefold while flights tripled on its platform.

Shanghai, Beijing, Harbin and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, are top choices for travelers who plan to spend the holiday traveling domestically, according to the group.

Travel portal Tuniu said that in the two weeks after Dec 1, bookings of tour products for the New Year’s Day holiday surged by 220 percent year-on-year on the platform. “The users’ choices varied from destinations with hot springs, snow and ice to those with warmer climates like coastal islands in southern provinces,” Tuniu said.

Bookings to overseas destinations have also shown good demand so far, thanks to optimized entry policies. Group said that as of Dec 15, bookings for outbound trips for the holiday soared fivefold on its platform, and overseas destinations in eastern and southeastern Asia remain top choices, including Japan and Thailand.

The group added that in addition to traditional traveling activities, going skiing at overseas destinations to celebrate the holiday also saw rapid growth.

“We’ve seen bookings of ski tour products to overseas destinations rise by 460 percent from earlier this month, compared with that in November. Japan, South Korea, Finland and Russia are popular for skiers,” said the group. “Seeing northern lights is also a romantic choice to spend the holiday as we’ve seen bookings to Finland and Sweden rise by 73 percent and 10 percent month-on-month so far.”

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