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Lunar New Year 2024: Overseas bookings more than doubled, rise in ‘escape’ and theme park travel

SINGAPORE, Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A global trend has emerged in recent years: more and more travellers are ditching the traditional Lunar New Year celebrations at home and jetting off for what’s been dubbed ‘Bi Nian’ (New Year escape) travel. It’s all about ringing in the holiday in a different country, adding an adventurous twist to the festivities. Families are getting in on the action too, choosing to embark on group getaways, shaking up the typical Lunar New Year routine.

Data from Trip.com Group paints an exciting picture: there has been a significant 279% surge in overseas bookings during the first five days of the Lunar New Year holiday compared to last year. And it’s not just one or two spots; this spike is happening in various countries where the Lunar New Year is celebrated, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and South Korea. This trend underscores a growing appetite for soaking up diverse cultures and diving into unique celebrations abroad.

Younger generation ‘escaping’ LNY, collective family getaways are a growing trend

As many gather together at home to usher in the Spring Festival, some members of the younger generation are doing quite the opposite.

Driven by a thirst for discovery, Millennial and Gen Z individuals are redefining their Lunar New Year, eschewing traditional celebrations in favour of adventures abroad. They make up 38.5% of all bookings during the holiday, seeking out vibrant cities like Bangkok, Tokyo, and Singapore for solo explorations. And when they’re not flying solo, you’ll find them jetting off with friends to attractions such as Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay as well as surprising finds such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.

Yet, amidst this rise in independent travel, the family remains at the heart of Lunar New Year celebrations for many. Collective family getaways are on the rise, constituting 47% of all Spring Festival tourists from China, with customised tours and local guides for private tours gaining popularity. On a wider scale, Thailand, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates had the most local guide bookings during the holiday season.

Travellers embraced theme parks and unique experiences

Short-haul trips dominated Lunar New Year travel this year, with an impressive 199% uptick compared to last year, indicating a preference for flights lasting four hours or less.

But it wasn’t just about getting there quickly; these adventurers were all about seeking out one-of-a-kind experiences during their vacations. From hitting the slopes at ski resorts to embarking on exotic cruises and exploring safari parks, unique adventures were the top picks for bookings in tours and activities. For instance, Shenzhen’s Safari Park and Guangzhou Bonski, an indoor ski resort, were among the top overall attractions on Trip.com’s vibrant user-generated content platform, Trip Moments.

Throngs of travellers also sought out adventures at thrilling theme parks. For visitors from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the Disneyland parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong stole the spotlight as top attractions. Japan, on the other hand, emerged as a vibrant “theme park” hub, with Universal Studios Japan and Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter standing out as favourites alongside Disneyland. Other theme parks, such as Malaysia’s kid-friendly LEGOLAND, and Shenzhen’s Window of the World, also drew crowds.

Top overseas escapes during the Lunar New Year

Southeast Asia emerged as a hotspot for jet setters in the whirlwind of Lunar New Year travel, with Malaysia and Thailand leading the charge. Overseas bookings surged by 202% and 195% respectively, compared to last year’s festivities. A trend of intra-Asia travel particularly took hold in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with top spots including China and Japan.

While in Singapore, holidaymakers set their sights on relatively nearby destinations, from bustling Bangkok to Johor Bahru, and even the serene shores of Bali. On average, Singaporean travellers embarked on 2.5-day escapades, with the majority taking off on 9 February, the eve of the Lunar New Year, and returning on 12 February to sync with the nation’s designated public holidays.

Meanwhile, China saw an unprecedented threefold growth in overseas bookings compared to last year, amidst a backdrop of relaxed visa requirements. Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, which enjoyed mutual visa-free arrangements, emerged alongside perennial favourites like Japan as the go-to destinations for Chinese travellers.

As for South Korea, travellers were most keen on escaping to Japan, with top cities such as Osaka, Tokyo and Fukuoka drawing arrivals. For South Korean travellers seeking an alternative to Japan, Vietnam’s serene coastal city of Da Nang also emerged as a popular destination.

As the Spring Festival festivities wind down, we reflect on its multi-faceted impact on travel. Whether venturing solo, with friends, or alongside family, the Lunar New Year unites us in a shared celebration of renewal, prosperity, and joy.

About Trip.com Group

Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”. Find out more about Trip.com Group here: group.trip.com. Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube

SOURCE Trip.com Group



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lunar-new-year-2024-overseas-bookings-more-than-doubled-rise-in-escape-and-theme-park-travel-302065878.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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