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China’s Domestic Travel Tops 2019 in Trips and Spending

Alan Woinski
October 10th, 2023 at 7:32 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Outbound travel from China surged significantly during the National Day Holiday, led by younger Chinese travelers.
  • Indonesia became the top source market for Singapore’s monthly visitor arrivals, with Chinese visitors staying longer on average.
  • The Postcard Hotel is set to open India’s most expensive hotel in Ranthambore and plans to launch several more hotels in 2024. said China’s National Day Holiday had them recording a significant surge in outbound travel by over eight times compared with the same period in 2022. We understand the comparison, but outbound and inbound travel during 2021 and 2022 in China was non-existent. 

Younger Chinese travelers, born post-90s, remained the dominant group, accounting for nearly 30% of outbound tourists, while the younger post-millennium generation exhibited the fastest growth rate with a 22% share. Destinations of choice for Chinese tourists during the Golden Week period included ThailandSingaporeMalaysia, and South Korea. Long haul destinations included SwitzerlandSpainTurkey, the UK and France

Alipay reported that the average spending of outbound Chinese travelers during the first five days of China’s National Holiday surpassed the level from 2019. The Wall Street Journal published an article on Golden Week saying Chinese consumers spent and traveled less over the holiday period than the government had projected. Travelers in China made 826 million domestic trips during the eight-day break, 71.3% higher than a year ago and 4.1% higher than in 2019. This is data from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The domestic tourism market booked revenue of 753.4 billion yuan, about US$105 billion, 1.5% higher than in 2019. The ministry had been projecting 896 million trips and revenue of 782.5 billion yuan. 

In September, Indonesia overtook mainland China as the top source market for Singapore’s monthly visitor arrivals. The Singapore Tourism Board said the city-state had 1.13 million visitor arrivals, down by 13.7% from August. In the first nine months of the year, Singapore’s visitor arrivals were 10.14 million, 70.8% of the same period in 2019, and up 171% year on year. Indonesia supplied 175,600 visitors in September, while mainland China was second with 135,680. That being said, Chinese visitors stayed an average of 4.6 days while Indonesians stayed 2.89 days. In the first nine months, Chinese mainland visitors totaled 1.01 million, only 35.4% of the same period in 2019. 

The Conrad Singapore Orchard, the former Regent Singapore, accepts reservations for bookings as early as January 1, 2024. The hotel was rebranded and renovated under Hilton’s Conrad brand early this year. The hotel’s 445 newly renovated guestrooms, including 46 suites, showcase a contemporary residential feel. The hotel’s dining establishments are now open, except for Summer Palace, which is still closed for renovations. The hotel’s 14 venues for weddings, events and meetings are being renovated in anticipation of bookings from 4Q23 onwards. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of TRYP by Wyndham New Taipei Linkou and Wyndham Sun Moon Lake in partnership with Qingyu Property Co. Ltd and Lijing Enterprise Co. Ltd, respectively. The opening marks the first hotel for each brand in the China-Taiwan region. TRYP by Wyndham New Taipei Linkou is located in Taipei, a 20-minute car ride from Taoyuan International Airport. The 85 key hotel includes the Margarate Buffet Restaurant, meeting and conference rooms, and more. Wyndham Sun Moon Lake is a 197-key hotel in the Yuchi Township, in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range. The hotel offers a variety of room layouts, along with private hot spring pools, a wellness center, two restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, a pool, a spa, a children’s play area, and an expansive banquet hall. The hotel is currently open with select amenities, with full amenities to come in early 2024. 

Banyan Tree has partnered with Thai developer Creston Holding Ltd to unveil the Banyan Tree Residences Creston Hill. The THB 17 billion venture is situated within a 226 rai site with a 30 rai lake featuring luxury pool villas and freehold condominiums near Thailand’s UNESCO-listed Khao Yai National Park. The initial phase includes 21 fully-furnished luxury villas and 16 low-rise condominium buildings, all integrated with nature. The 16 low-rise condominium buildings provide panoramic vistas of mountains and lakes, available in one-, two-, and three-bedroom configurations. Three-bedroom units have a cantilevered pool and a terrace, while penthouses have private rooftop gardens. 

The Postcard Hotel will launch India’s most expensive hotel next year at Ranthambore in Rajasthan, with an opening price of Rs 1.95 lakh per room per night plus taxes. The chain will also launch seven hotels next year in locations such as TirupatiGoaMashobraKanha Tiger Reserve and one in the Himalayas. The hotel at Ranthambore will have 14 rooms at about 1,950 square feet with private heated pools. The company said for the next seven years they will open a new Postcard hotel every quarter. The company is scheduled to open Assam’s first luxury hotel in a tea estate in December this year. 

A luxury hotel in Tirupati will also be a first for that market. ITC Hotels announced the signing of its first ‘Storii‘ property in West Bengal. The property will be located near the metropolis and is slated to open in early 2024. The Kolkata property will have 30 keys, considered a boutique resort away from the hustle and bustle of metro life. 

As a follow-up to yesterday’s story of a secondary share sale in OYO, the company said they are in talks to raise $500 million, describing it as through primary and secondary share sales. Despite a few months ago, SoftBank cut their view of OYO’s valuation to $2.7 billion, the company has continued to disagree with that and said they expect to elevate their valuation to $6 billion with these sales, ahead of their long-awaited IPO. 

ONYX Hospitality Group has introduced “maai spa“, an upscale spa venture. The group revealed plans for brand expansion into travel destinations encompassing both locations within Thailand and abroad. The roadmap includes the introduction of many spa locations in prominent hotels and resorts with the goal of establishing it as a premium spa brand. Presently, the spa is operational in Thailand and the Maldives.

Alan Woinski
October 10th, 2023 at 7:32 AM EDT

Companies: Banyan Tree, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, ITC Hotels, ONYX Hospitality Group, OYO Hotels, The Postcard Hotel, Tryp, Wyndham, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Assam, China, Indonesia, Maldives, Rajasthan, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, Tirupati

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