The summer travel season has seen a surge in demand for outbound travel, particularly to Southeast Asia. However, the recovery is still hindered by factors such as visa requirements and limited international flights, the Global Times learned from tourism platforms.
Graduation season and the summer break have seen a doubling in the demand for outbound travel compared to 2019, and orders for overseas travel services such as flights, insurance, and hotels have increased rapidly, according to online travel platform Trip.com.
The current focus of summer outbound travel is on short-haul trips. Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia are the top five most popular destinations for visa applications during the summer season, Trip.com said.
Spring Travel has also seen an increase in demand for trips to Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, and the Balkans. Additionally, off-season trips to South Africa during the summer season have become popular.
Since the beginning of this year, China's inbound and outbound tourism has been gradually recovering in an orderly manner. A report released by the World Tourism Alliance showed the prosperity index for China's outbound travel market in the first half of 2023 exceeded the level of the first half of 2019.
However, long-haul outbound trips are still limited due to the time-consuming visa application process for many European countries and the US, according to industry insiders.
For example, in Shanghai, it takes 117 working days to process a tourist visa for Germany, while Switzerland is relatively fast at 54 working days, a customer service representative for Trip.com told the Global Times.
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