Chinese tourists flock to Europe, US for holiday
Updated: 2012-12-21 11:31
By Wang Wen (China Daily)
Airlines also enjoy good business on their international routes over this period.
"We do not have any air tickets left from China to Paris one week before Christmas Day," said Zhou Yinghui, Air France's public relations manager in China.
More Chinese people are visiting Europe over Christmas, although foreigners, who are going back to Europe for the holiday, are still the airline's main customers, Zhou said.
Islands in Southeast Asia are also a major destination for Chinese tourists.
Hong Qian, a female office worker in Beijing, is planning to take a Christmas holiday to Malaysia with her boyfriend.
Hong and her boyfriend have to use their annual leave for the trip.
"I want to enjoy the sunshine and beaches there, rather than the white Christmas in Beijing," she said.
They are scheduled to depart on Saturday, after the peak dates of departure have passed, Hong said.
Chinese tourists are increasingly choosing to spend their holidays on the warmer islands this Christmas, a departure from the usual practice of large tourist groups visiting several countries, said Niu Yue, an officer from the marketing department of online travel agency Ctrip.com International Ltd.
"Our packages to the Maldives, Sabah, Koh Samui and other islands were sold out as soon as they were launched," he said.
According to CITS, the number of travelers visiting islands in Southeast Asia increased 50 percent this Christmas from last year.