Travel TrendsSurvey by Dragon Trail International and ForwardKeys reveals preference for Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, and Australia.

Wondering where wanderlust will take Chinese travellers to next?

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Despite a slow outbound travel rebound, the launch of China's vaccine passport has prompted a 43% increase in Chinese travellers willing to resume pre-pandemic travel behaviours, says a new survey.
Despite a slow outbound travel rebound, the launch of China's vaccine passport has prompted a 43% increase in Chinese travellers willing to resume pre-pandemic travel behaviours, says a new survey. Photo Credit: Getty Image/RyanKing999

China has now fully vaccinated more than 1 billion of its citizens, bringing the world’s most populous nation’s total vaccination rate to over 70%.

Although China’s outbound travel remains at a standstill and is likely to do so until mid-next year, more Chinese consumers are now hoping to travel overseas, especially with the launch of China's vaccine passport. What will determine their destinations and when will they depart?

Equipped with the latest data on traveller sentiment and flight bookings, marketing solutions company Dragon Trail International and travel data and analytics company ForwardKeys unpacked the question in a recent joint webinar.

Surveying more than 1,000 respondents to gauge attitudes behind travel preferences and intentions, Dragon Trail International’s fourth Chinese traveller sentiment report revealed a 43% increase in Chinese travellers willing to travel cautiously, compared to its previous survey conducted in March (32%).

“Chinese consumers look forward to travel as a means to relax, and this signals to us that there is growing frustration and longing for a chance to relax from the pandemic rebounds. What is growing is the desire to take a break from travel restrictions,” said Dragon Trail International’s research manager, Mengfan Wan.

Rather than a destination’s vaccination rates as some may have predicted, the greatest prerequisites for Chinese consumers travelling overseas are tied to government travel advice, a destination’s number of confirmed cases, and quarantine policies.

Of the respondents, 74% said the official green light for outbound travel was a prerequisite, while 60% said a destination’s daily case numbers dropping to zero or a few would determine their travel plans. Some 56% said they would travel when there was no quarantine on arrival, while 50% said it would depend on no quarantine on return.

When it comes to traveller vaccinations, 52% said they would wait until they had received both doses in China, while 42% said they would visit when at least 80% of a destination’s population was fully vaccinated.

As well, what used to be the top motivation for travelling in the previous survey — a destination’s friendliness towards Chinese travellers — has dropped from 62% to 41%.

As well, although more than half (62%) of those surveyed in the previous survey indicated that a destination’s friendliness towards Chinese travellers is their top concern, this has shifted downwards six months on (41%).

While Singapore, Japan, and Thailand were perceived as safe destinations in the previous survey, this time around Chinese consumers look upon Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, and Australia as safe.

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