There were high hopes for travel during this typically popular period, especially after a strong travel recovery in the domestic sector by the end of 3Q2020. But local Covid-19 outbreaks have resulted in official policies throughout the country requiring people not to leave the areas where they live, and as such travel bookings have dropped dramatically.
What could have happened?
Looking at WeChat marketing for international hotel brands (as tracked weekly by Dragon Trail Interactive) over the past two months, the main promotional theme was “Sun or Snow.” This means the very extensive promotion of wintery, ski-oriented destinations in north-eastern China, as well as the tropical island climate and tax-free shopping in the south, in Hainan.
This was demonstrated by the issued tickets leading up to the Chinese New Year, before the new strains of Covid-19 appeared and drew travel restrictions between provinces.
The Great Spring Festival staycation
There is still some push for Hainan travel – on February 1, the Sanya government announced that travellers from low-risk areas with a green Hainan health QR code will be able to skip the PCR test before coming to the island.
At the end of January, Marriott was still promoting little family reunions in Hainan, and Shangri-la Sanya rolled out Chinese New Year family packages while stressing its high hygiene standards.
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