US and Canada Remains As Top Destinations For Chinese Travelers This Lunar New Year

China Lunar New Year Tourists
Passengers arrive at Beijing Railway Station as the annual Spring Festival travel rush (Photo: Reuters)

Despite the ongoing political negotiations, particular the current trade war with the United States, Chinese consumers are still unfazed and continue spending their hard earned money during this year's Lunar New Year celebrations. Unlike the previous years, most Chinese citizens now choose to travel abroad instead of going back to their hometown. The latest reports have indicated that Chinese tourist continues to have an appetite for visiting western countries, particularly Canada and the United States.

According to a recently released 2019 New Year Travel Report by Ctrip, the United States still ranks number one as the most popular overseas destination for Chinese tourists this Lunar New Year. The booking company that released the report handles almost 60 percent of all the online flight bookings in China. In the past 40 days, the company along with other agencies, have booked more than 3 billion trips to different destinations around Asia and abroad. The next countries on the company's top destinations list include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Britain, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.

Another popular online travel agency, Fliggy, reports that the United States is the second most popular destination behind Australia. The Alibaba-owned travel service lists Russia, New Zealand, and Britain as its next most popular destinations outside of Asia. All in all, travel bookings to the United States for this year's Lunar New Year have grown by around 60 percent. Meanwhile, flight bookings to Canada have grown by around 21 percent.

Due to the various political issues that are placing pressure on foreign relations, some countries have issued travel warnings to their citizens traveling to other countries. However, these new travel warnings have apparently not had that much of an impact on most Chinese citizens.

The relationship between Canada and the United States had recently been strained due to the arrest of a Huawei executive by Canadian authorities. Meanwhile, the ongoing trade with the United States has resulted in the US government to issue travel warnings, cautioning travels to be wary of the "arbitrary enforcement of local Chinese laws."

Canada's Federal Tourism agency recently halted its marketing efforts in China late last year. A spokeswoman of the agency explained that there were unforeseen circumstances that led to them decided to pause their marketing efforts aims at Chinese travelers. The marketing campaign has since resumed, but its size has been greatly diminished. Last year, Canada launched its Canada-China Year of Tourism campaign, which was supposed to celebrate the "deep ties" of both countries. 

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