Bookings in China for trips abroad during the upcoming May Day holiday point to a continued recovery in travel to Asian countries, but the numbers remain far off pre-COVID levels with long-haul airfares soaring and not enough flights available.
Overseas tour bookings for the upcoming holiday, for which many in China are off from April 29 until May 3, are up 157% from the beginning of April, according to Ctrip, the country's largest online travel firm.
But, given airline capacity is yet to fully recover after China kept its borders shut for three years and underlying consumer demand remains weak, the numbers do not compare well with the heyday of Chinese outbound tourism.
In February, over 150,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Thailand, the latest data from the Thai Ministry of Tourism show - a three year high but still 85% below February 2019 levels.
Trips to Japan and South Korea have only recovered to 5%-10% of February 2019 levels.
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