Travel News |  A Rise in Chinese Family and Graduation Trips Kicks Off Summer Travel

July 8, 2024
By Carrie Li

Chinese Tourists Show Strong Interest in Summer Travel to Europe

A recent 2024 Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB), published by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail BV, indicates a global surge in summer travel interest, with Europe maintaining its preferred destination despite safety and cost concerns. The survey, which included 7,000 tourists from key markets such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, and the USA, aimed to assess their travel plans to Europe from May to August 2024. Remarkably, 62% of Chinese participants plan to visit Europe this summer, the highest among the surveyed groups.

This data reflects a stabilisation in Chinese tourists’ enthusiasm for European travel, aligning with pre-pandemic levels. Among respondents, 73% are considering long-haul trips during the May-August period, with 62% favouring Europe—a slight increase from 2019. Interest is powerful among travellers from Beijing, Guangzhou, and Wuhan.

The top European destinations this summer include France, Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Younger travellers and those with higher incomes are showing the most interest.

Direct Flights from London Gatwick to Guangzhou Boost Travel Opportunities

On June 20, 2024, London Gatwick Airport welcomed the first flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, marking the start of a direct service by China Southern Airlines. Operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner three times a week, this new route is expected to enhance travel convenience and foster stronger ties between China and the UK.

As the UK’s second-largest airport, London Gatwick is planning to introduce more direct flights. It aims to offer a seamless and welcoming experience for tourists, especially those from China.

Chinese Travel Agencies Report Strong Performance in Early 2024

In the first quarter of 2024, Chinese travel agencies facilitated domestic and international trips for millions. Domestic travel alone serviced 1.76 billion people, generating over ¥1.52 trillion in revenue, an increase of 17% from 2019.

Study Travel See Major Uptick

According to Ctrip’s “2024 Summer Travel Market Forecast Report,” domestic travel is robustly growing, with a significant rise in searches for hotels and flights. The report also notes an 80% increase in bookings to Europe and Latin America, driven by favourable travel policies. Peak travel periods this summer are expected around the end of June, mid-July, and mid-August.

Family and graduation trips are mainly trending, igniting the first significant wave of summer travel. Popular destinations include theme parks, cultural and historical sites, leisure retreats, and educational travel offerings. Tuniu reports a notable increase in searches for these types of trips following the end of the college entrance exams.

Booming Family and Graduation Travel as Summer Season Begins

This weekend ushers in the first peak of the summer travel season, emphasing long-haul domestic trips. July will see continued travel growth, with family and graduation trips significantly influencing the trend. Attractions like theme parks, cultural venues, historical sites, and educational tours are increasingly popular, catering mainly to family groups.

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