BEIJING: Chinese travellers have shown ever-increasing enthusiasm for travelling abroad this year, and the trend is on track to become more prominent for the rest of the year, fuelling a growing demand for visa applications.
The upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, which land at the same time this year, form an eight-day window from Oct 6, when more Chinese visitors are expected to go overseas.
Thailand, a popular destination for Chinese residents, announced earlier this month that it decided to waive visa fees for Chinese travellers for five months, effective yesterday.
Following the announcement, searches for flight tickets to Thailand and its hotels surged immediately on different online travel platforms.
Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket are among the top three most popular destinations in Thailand, according to data from Mafengwo, a travel service and social networking platform.
As of mid-September, booking volumes for hotels in Thailand during the National Day holiday soared 6,220% year-on-year, according to Trip.com Group, China’s largest online travel agency.
The implementation of the visa-free policy is expected to attract more Chinese travellers to Thailand in the fourth quarter.
“The five-month visa-free policy will cover a period with some important Chinese holidays, such as the National Day holiday and Spring Festival.
“We have already seen a hot rise in bookings of travel products to Thailand for the National Day holiday,” said Fan Dongxiao, director at Tuniu Corp, a Nanjing, Jiangsu province-based online travel agency. — China Daily/ANN