Forecast: Travel and Shopping Statistics for Spring Festival 2019

Traditionally, people spend Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) with family, visiting relatives in their homes. In recent years, however, the trend has become for people to travel in droves for a lengthy vacation, during which they spend significant aggregate tourism dollars.

Ctrip released its 2019 Spring Festival Tourism Trend Forecast. We’ve culled some of the most compelling stats from this report to help you understand the Chinese outbound tourism market and its revenue-generating potential.


It’s expected that the number of Chinese travelling during Chinese New Year will exceed 400 million, with nearly 7 million outbound tourists.

Estimated Travel Consumption

  • The per capita consumption of domestic tourism will reach CNY ¥4,681, a year-on-year increase of 33.7%.
  • The per capita consumption of outbound tourists will exceed CNY ¥10,000 for the first time, a year-on-year growth of 5%.

Growth in the number of outbound tourists during the Spring Festival over the past three years (in units of 10,000

Source: Ctrip (extracted from Shanghai Observer)


Average consumption of domestic and outbound tourists during the Spring Festival over the past three years (in units of CNY ¥10,000

Source: Ctrip (extracted from Shanghai Observer)

Top Travel Trends Forecast for Chinese New Year 2019

  • Private and custom tours are gaining popularity, and Chinese people place more value on experiencing a high-quality tour than keeping costs low for a given tour.
  • New Year’s Day is the peak day for outbound travelling.
  • The middle class of people born in the 80s and 90s bring their elderly and young family members along on their trips.
  • People born in the 00s are starting to favour travelling, with half of the travellers in this age group being new college students.
  • The number of visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations is increasing for Chinese people, making travel more convenient and attractive.
  • Southeast Asia and Japan remain the most popular destinations for outbound travel.

Top 10 most visited countries over the past three years

Source: Ctrip (extracted from Shanghai Observer)

Festive Shopping

Lunar New Year is a major revenue source for brands, retailers, and online travel agencies. According to China’s largest online travel agency, Ctrip, last year’s Lunar New Year holiday generated USD $70.2 billion (CNY ¥475 billion) in revenue, in China and abroad, and will likely exceed that total this year.

Brands can capitalise on the festive season as Chinese travellers are more willing to spend more during the Lunar New Year, as reported by Ctrip.

Luxury brands often take the opportunity to commemorate the zodiac of the present new year to attract Chinese consumers. For instance, Gucci did an excellent campaign by overwhelming Chinese consumers with tons of pig (this year’s zodiac) motif goods, many of which featured Disney’s three little pigs on products like a wallet (about USD $1,461), a watch (USD $1,918), handbags (USD $2,051), and sneakers (USD $885).

Gucci commemorates the year of the pig (Jing Daily)

What’s next?

Most young Chinese look forward to spending their lucky “hong bao” money from the red packets they receive during the Lunar New Year. Thus, post-Lunar New Year spending should also see an increase.

Keeping the engagement alive after the festive season for another 3 weeks will give brands and retailers an extended opportunity to further optimise sales and maximise profits, as Chinese travellers will tend to extend their outbound travel plans before heading back home.

Want to learn more about targeting this huge demographic? Get in touch with us here at Chat Chat!

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