Chinese New Year Travel Trends in APAC

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is a holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new year based on the traditional lunar calendar. Akin to Christmas in the western world, over a quarter of the world’s population observes this holiday, especially in East Asia. This celebration is family oriented, as parents take vacations with children in tow after visiting close family members in different cities, towns, and countries as part of the new year celebration.

In this post, we will take a quick dive into the booking trends surrounding Lunar New Year. Having deeply analyzed metasearch activity in the APAC market from previous years, here are four takeaways to optimize your marketing strategies.

1) Bookings Increase Two Days after the Spring Festival

Traditionally, the first two days of a winter vacation in China are reserved for spending time with family. This is why there is a significant drop in hotel bookings across APAC. However, it only takes two days for the industry to get ready before the real holiday season begins. Our data revealed a 270% increase in bookings two days after the start of the Chinese New Year.

This increase is staggering and keeping this growth in mind can become a game-changer in your digital marketing strategy. This trend is unique because of its regularity and its exponential growth over the years.

2) Opportunities Spike 50% Two Days after the Spring Festival

Lunar New Year is celebrated over 15 days, making it one of the longest public holidays in the region and the main reason why so many take advantage of the remaining time after family visits to travel. Our metasearch data proves that this time of the year has the highest click-rate for APAC in Q1. In the graphs below, we can see that both bookings and opportunities began to increase on February 18th, two days after the start of the 2018 Spring Festival. So, make sure you’re visible and highly ranked to stand out from the crowd during this busy travel period.

Opportunities During Chinese New Year

3) Higher Rates Can Drive More Bookings

The APAC region is all about rapid development and efficiency, which is why people usually try to get the most out of the biggest vacation season. There is a substantial spike in demand for non-domestic travelers in the Chinese market, and surely, higher rates per night follow this increased demand. But even with prices at a higher rate, we’ve seen an uptick in conversions during the holiday period.

4) Most Travelers Stay Within the APAC Region

Most Asian travelers prefer to travel internationally and make use of this week’s long vacation with their families. Many will travel to Southeast Asia, which is famous for its extravagant and diverse destinations. Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are the top beach trips that can be done on a fairly low budget. They are followed by the US, China, and Japan. Together, these countries are the most visited by those who live in the APAC region. Here’s a list of the top 10 travel destinations for APAC travelers in the month leading up to the lunar new year.

Destination Trends Chinese New Year

Whether you’re a marketing agency or hotel revenue manager, having a bit of insight into what is happening in the market gives you the essential knowledge you need to play your cards right! These are a few of the early booking trends that we’ve noticed with metasearch campaigns in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on the APAC region.