Traveling is now becoming a "necessity of happiness" for Chinese people. This year alone, more people have skipped the traditional traditions during the Spring Festival and travels to a new destination.
So, what's the latest travel trend for Chinese people during the Lunar New Year?
China Tourism Academy reported that Chinese people took 5.5 billion domestic trips in 2018 and made about 150 million trips abroad. And more than 400 million trips are expected during the Spring Festival holiday, including approximately seven million outside China.
More families are traveling together at once. Online travel agency Ctrip said that families made 70 percent of its bookings during this year's Spring Festival holiday with three or more members. Multi-generational family travel is also on the rise.
Among tourists surveyed, more than 90 percent prefer traveling with their families, said the survey from China Tourism Academy. Most say family tours bring them happiness.
Asian destinations still attract the biggest share of outbound trips, with Thailand being the most popular, Japan the second and Indonesia the third. In China, the southern resort city of Sanya attracts the most visitors, followed by Beijing and Guangzhou.
Meanwhile, more people are willing to pay higher prices for better service and unique experiences. Made-for-travel packages on Ctrip have jumped more than 100 percent from last year.
The surging demand has pushed prices up. Domestic tours during the holiday cost 30 to 50 percent more than in the off-season, while overseas trips cost 10 percent more. Spending by Chinese travelers during the New Year is expected to exceed 500 billion yuan (about 74 billion U.S. dollars).
China Tourism Academy indicates that the proportion of tourists who spend between 20 U.S. dollars to 50 U.S. dollars per day has risen from 23 percent in 2016 to about 30 percent in 2018. It's estimated that the percentage will be about 37 percent in 2020. The proportion of people spending more than 50 U.S. dollars per day is expected to increase from about six percent two years ago to more than 10 percent within the next couple of years.