As we step into the dawn of 2024, the horizon for China’s outbound tourism presents a new narrative, and the Lunar New Year emerges as the harbinger of a substantial upswing in international travel. While domestic tourism in the world’s second-largest economy has not only rebounded but surpassed pre-pandemic levels, the recovery of overseas travel has been on a more measured trajectory.

December 2023 saw China’s international air passenger traffic reach only 63% of the levels observed in 2019, a testament to the challenges confronting the global tourism sector. However, with the Lunar New Year approaching, a pivotal moment appears on the horizon.

Demographic Transformations & Economic Signals

Analysts and survey data together paint an optimistic picture of the outbound travel of Chinese tourists in 2024. Despite economic caution, the forecast from Singapore-based digital marketing firm China Trading Desk reveals that over half of the surveyed 11,000 Chinese residents plan to spend more than 25,000 yuan on overseas trips, excluding airfare and accommodation costs.

A noteworthy evolution in the demographic composition of Chinese tourists is evident, with nearly 60% being female, over half holding bachelor’s degrees, and residing in Tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. This demographic shift indicates a more diverse and educated cohort of travelers, bringing distinctive preferences and expectations to global destinations.

Preparations in the Aviation Industry

China’s Civil Aviation Industry is gearing up for heightened demand during the forthcoming Chinese Spring Festival holidays. Airlines in China are set to introduce more than 2,500 new international scheduled flights and charter flights. Destinations like Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asian countries are anticipated to be favored choices due to streamlined visa policies and customs clearance procedures.

Global aviation entities, such as British Airways, are doubling the size of their cabin crew bases in China, anticipating a surge in travel demand. The strategic increase in Mandarin-speaking crew members reflects a commitment to personalized service for Chinese customers.

Lunar New Year Bookings Surge

Bookings for Lunar New Year holidays are experiencing an unprecedented surge, surpassing 900% compared to the previous year. The volume of domestic reservations has seen a remarkable 600% increase, reflecting a pent-up demand for both international and domestic travel experiences.

Chinese travelers are demonstrating a willingness to explore more distant destinations, with the United States emerging as a prominent choice, reachable within 12 hours by plane. Traditional favorites like Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam continue to attract significant attention. Simultaneously, emerging destinations such as Russia, Egypt, Serbia, Morocco, and Norway witness bookings skyrocket.

The Future Landscape

The China Tourism Academy foresees a robust recovery for China’s inbound and outbound tourism market in 2024. The total number of inbound and outbound trips is projected to surpass 264 million, with international tourism revenue exceeding $107 billion.

In this evolving travel landscape, STW (ShakeToWin) emerges as a steadfast partner, poised to empower businesses to embrace the influx of Chinese travelers. Leveraging the Chinese digital ecosystem, STW provides a comprehensive service scope, bridging the gap for businesses to connect with the new generation of Chinese travelers. Seize these opportunities with STW and explore the surge in Chinese outbound tourism. Book a demo session for a free 30-day trial and thrive in the dynamic world of travel.

About STW Innovation

STW Innovation is a leading provider of innovative solutions for the tourism industry. With a strong focus on digital transformation and market trends, STW Innovation aims to empower businesses in the tourism sector to thrive in the ever-changing global landscape. Through cutting-edge technology, training programs, and strategic partnerships, STW Innovation helps tourism professionals adapt, grow, and succeed.


Emily Cheung, Founder & CEO, STW Innovation Company Limited

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