Nearly 90% Chinese travelers prefer domestic itinerary after the epidemic
04/13/2020|3:00:14 PM|CNN

As China slowly eases lockdown restrictions and life returns to somewhat normal conditions, residents have once again started traveling.

From the Bund waterfront in Shanghai to scenic Huangshan Mountain park in the eastern Anhui province, major landmarks across the country welcomed thousands of visitors over the weekend.

But an uptick in domestic sight-seeing doesn't necessarily mean international travel will rebound as quickly.

At least, not according to a recent study conducted by the Group, China's largest online travel agency.

Based on a survey of 15,000 people across 100 cities in China at the end of March, the company found that 16% of respondents will be ready to travel again in May in time for Golden Week, a five-day public holiday.

However, the vast majority -- to the tune of 90% -- would prefer to travel domestically, with destinations like Yunnan, Hainan island and Shanghai sweeping the top three preferences.

Roughly 61% of Chinese travelers surveyed indicated that they would feel ready to travel again by August.

A smaller-scale survey of 1,000 people across the country conducted by international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman supports these findings, while also exploring the rationale for staying close to home.

Roughly 77% of those surveyed said they would prefer a domestic destination for their first post-epidemic trip, citing "the severe virus situation overseas" as one of the main considerations when choosing a destination.

"From our survey, it is encouraging to see that the majority of Chinese travelers have a strong appetite to resume traveling and retail spending after COVID-19 subsides," Katie Sham, a principal of Oliver Wyman based in Shanghai, tells CNN Travel.

"The major reason that Chinese travelers want to explore domestically is that China is in a much more stabilized condition versus the rest of the world, at least in the coming three to four months."

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