BEIJING — Travelers from mainland China were stranded near their Asian homes during the Chinese New Year, the first holiday after Beijing eased Covid-related border controls.
According to Trip.com, Hong Kong and Macau were the most popular destinations, citing flights booked on its platform during the first four days of Chinese New Year. Seven consecutive holidays started on Saturday.
According to Trip.com, the three most popular international travel destinations for mainland travelers are:
5. Phuket, Thailand
According to Trip.com, mainland-to-overseas flight bookings for the first four days of vacations have quadrupled from a year ago.
In late December, Beijing announced that from 8 January, travelers will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival in the mainland, allowing Chinese citizens to resume leisure travel abroad. This change marks the end of nearly three years of border controls.
But Japan and South Korea, which are popular with Chinese tourists, have since imposed temporary restrictions on travelers from China, including visa restrictions and quarantines for those infected with the new coronavirus.
Singapore has not announced any changes, but Thailand scrapped plans to require overseas visitors to show proof of Covid vaccination just days after the announcement.
China saw a wave of Covid infections after Beijing ended most of its domestic Covid controls in early December. A negative Covid test is still required for travel to the mainland.
Chinese international travelers spent $54.7 billion on shopping in 2019, according to Euromonitor International.