January 28 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and this year's calendar allows for a possible ten-day break.


外媒看中国:春节黄金周 出镜游火爆

While the holiday used to be a period of family reunions and big feasts, many Chinese are now choosing to escape the winter pollution and the vastly overstretched domestic travel infrastructure by taking an outbound trip instead.


Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, recently released its "2017 Spring Festival Tourism Big Data Report.". According to Ctrip, the top 10 overseas destinations for Chinese New Year tourists in 2017 are: Thailand, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The report also claims that this year has seen much smaller increases in package tour prices compared to previous years, with plenty of last-minute offers still available due to a wider range of available deals as well as increased time flexibility.



Positive forecasts for outbound trips are supported by the continued easing of visa requirements for many destinations, increased flight numbers and relatively low-cost package tours, with tour operators hoping to lure back some of the increasing number of independent travelers.


Additionally, countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Morocco will benefit from recently relaxed visa requirements. A visa for UAE can new be obtained after arrival at the airport without prior application, and Morocco even waived the need for a visa completely.


Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Taiwan, traditionally very important destinations for the Golden Week, losing visitors to countries further afield.