More Chinese consumers are choosing to spend Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day and which falls on April 5, in their local cities to get up close and personal with nature in spring.
The number of hotel reservations at the usual place of residence by consumers accounts for more than half of total hotel bookings. Flower-viewing journeys, self-driving trips and camping have become popular among young travelers during the holiday, said Qunar, an online travel agency.
The trend was fueled by recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a number of cities and strict pandemic prevention and control measures.
During Qingming Festival, some hotels and bed-and-breakfast businesses in suburban areas have seen their booking volumes double that of the levels recorded in the same time last year, and the average booking price was half of the level compared with the Spring Festival period this year, Qunar found.
Scenic places with lower crowds of people have drawn more attention of travelers. For long-distance trips,Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province, Ili in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and Nyingchi in Tibet autonomous region are well-received among domestic travelers, Qunar said.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many people have been preferring to take vacations in suburban and rural areas, and such demand has fueled the upgrading of facilities and services of many rural accommodations, with some even boasting better conditions than hotels in downtown areas,” said Yang Guanghui, an official at Qunar.
“This year, some high-end rural hotels have lowered their prices by nearly 30 percent compared with the same period in early April during the past few years,” Yang said.
For the holiday, the demand of B&B stays with courtyards and the booking of single houses remain robust. The average booking price of villas in suburban Beijing edged up 15 percent year-on-year, as local travel demand from high-income people has driven the growth of high-end B&B accommodations, said Tujia, an online homestay services provider.
As consumers increasingly show diversified demand and a willingness to try different experiences, some hotels with distinctive features have become popular. They include hotels that are pet-friendly or are suitable for e-sports fans to watch games, said Suzhou-based online travel agency Tongcheng Travel.
Esports hotels have become the hottest search keyword on the platform of Tongcheng for the Qingming Festival, given most consumers were born after 1995 or 2000, the company said.
Prices of airplane tickets declined to a three-year low as bookings were hampered by the pandemic. For instance, a one-way ticket from Beijing to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, costs only about 200 yuan ($32) during Qingming Festival.