Chinese airlines and travel agents get set for Golden Week getaways

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed September 29, 2016 12:56

Chinese airlines and travel agents get set for Golden Week getaways

Worldpay has seen online sales for airlines and travel agents soar in the run-up to this year’s autumn Golden Week festival. Compared with 2015, Worldpay has recorded a 21% surge in spend across the region in the weeks leading up to the October holiday.

The annual boost for online travel businesses continues to grow, as Chinese consumers take advantage of the week-long public holiday to travel internationally and domestically to visit friends and family. Airlines in particular have seen their sales take off ahead of this year’s National Day, with the total volume of transactions increasing by nearly a third (30%).

Interestingly, the average value of transaction has also increased, with Chinese consumers spending up to 20% more per trip than last year. This suggests that more and more Chinese tourists are shunning traditional local destinations such as Hong Kong and Macau, instead choosing to venture further afield.

Thomas Helldorff, VP of Travel and Airlines at Worldpay said: “This year’s Golden Week ‘gold rush’ has well and truly kicked off, with holiday-makers spending more than ever before. The past few years have seen a sharp acceleration in outbound Chinese tourism, helped by the increasing spending power of consumers. The festival is a key event in the tourism calendar for travel agents and airlines, with smart businesses planning ahead to benefit from the boom in online bookings.

“Our own research has found Chinese consumers to be last-minute shoppers when it comes to holidays, more so than any other country in the world. [1] This past weekend alone, spending jumped by 18% compared to the same weekend last year, as ever more savvy shoppers look to bag a bargain for the October vacation.”

In the lead up to this year’s Golden Week, Hongkongers have emerged as the region’s biggest travellers, with the volume of transactions in Hong Kong having grown 2.5 times more than mainland China since 2015.  However, with last year branded as the worst ever Golden Week for the island’s retailers, businesses will be hoping for stronger sales this year. 2015 data actually revealed a 6% drop in retail sales during the festival, compared to the week before, suggesting that destinations such as Macau and Hong Kong are losing their lustre among Chinese tourists.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed September 29, 2016 12:56