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Vacation rental websites see significant growth on Spring Festival rush

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-22 09:48
A host cleans a room for guests in a village in Shandong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Online shared accommodation booking platforms are forecasting significant growth during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday, driven by a growing number of Chinese millennial tourists who tend to travel with their families and the increasing popularity of homestays as a novel form of accommodation.

Tujia.com estimated inbound travel will increase twofold year-on-year during the Spring Festival holiday. Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu and Chongqing are the favorite domestic destinations, while outbound travel can witness a whopping 300 percent increase.

The peak season falls on Jan 25,26 and 27, as Chinese tourists typically take a trip after finishing their family reunion dinners. The millennial generation prefers traveling with their parents and children, so family trips will take up nearly 50 percent of total travel, according to Tujia.com.

Along with soaring enthusiasm for the Spring Festival travel, the prices of short-term rental houses are also rising. The average price of accommodation in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, exceeded 2,000 yuan ($290), which is the most expensive among all domestic destinations, Tujia.com said.

Data from United States-based Airbnb Inc showed that the share of outbound travelers from the Chinese mainland doubled during the holiday. The top five destinations are Osaka, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Chiang Mai.

It indicated that Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai occupy nearly 50 percent of the bookings among all popular domestic destinations as more and more Chinese youngsters invite their parents to the first-tier cities where they work to get together and celebrate the festival.

Airbnb noted that group tours, which consist of three family members or more, take up 82 percent of all tour types. The average length of stay by group tours is 5.2 nights.

China's vacation rental market is surging as Chinese consumers have started to pursue high-quality travel and accommodation experiences. This has spurred the explosive growth of home-sharing service providers.

According to a report by the State Information Center, a government think tank, the market for vacation rental services is expanding rapidly in the country. The sector's revenue is expected to reach 50 billion yuan in 2020.

It forecast that by 2020, the number of tenants is likely to exceed 100 million and the number of shared homes will be more than 6 million.

Wang Liantao, chief operating officer of Chinese vacation rental company Xiaozhu Inc, said family travel has become mainstream during the Spring Festival holiday. Some villas with private swimming pools and high-quality homestays are favored by family members.

"The wide range of short-term vacation rental services are enough to satisfy the personalized needs of various kinds of tourists, especially families," said Han Mengying, an analyst from market consultancy Analysis, adding compared with hotels, the price of shared accommodation is cheap.

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