China May Day 2021: Travel Trends & Spends

China May Day 2021 – APAC in 3 – Episode 02

Did you know that China is the world’s top-spending consumer market?

And its traveler demographic is no exception.

With overseas flights grounded, domestic travel skyrocketed over the country’s biggest holidays like May Day—a.k.a. Labour Day, which marks the beginning of summer and is usually celebrated for 3-5 days starting May 1st.

This year’s May Day saw a staggering 230 million domestic trips over the 5-day holiday—a whopping 120% growth over last year, underscoring China’s revival of domestic tourism and pent-up demand for international travel.

Check out episode 2 of APAC in 3 to learn how to boost your travel marketing strategy in China, in front of WeChat’s gargantuan userbase.

Revved-up Demand for Travel Content

With over 1.2 billion active users, WeChat is more than a social platform—it’s permeated all aspects of daily life in China, enabling people to order food, hail cabs, pay bills, purchase tickets, and more.

As travel demand hit a high during May Day, WeChat pushed out more travel content than ever before.

On WeChat Channels, the number of travel content creators increased sevenfold compared to the previous week, and featured high-engagement travel promo videos for major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, and more.

For example, “Travel Beijing with Guide Zhang” (张导带你游北京) livestreamed each day of the holiday and averaged 420,000 views per livestream—with one even hitting over a million likes.

And across the whole app, the duration of livestream content rose by an astounding 601%.

Travel Marketing Tip #1:  Amidst this dominance of video consumption, you can up your video and livestream game with on-location, walk-through tours and guides of your destination, store, or product.

Engaged online & active offline

Over the holiday, WeRun—WeChat’s pedometer that tracks a person’s daily step count—recorded a country-wide average of 2.7 trillion steps per day.

20,000 people even reached WeRun’s ceiling of 98,800 steps per day, which is actually based off the average steps it takes to climb Mount Everest.

Travel Marketing Tip #2:  To engage the behemoth WeRun userbase, brands can host creative activity challenges—like getting shoppers to visit several of your locations within a walkable vicinity to win a giveaway!

Duty-Free Shopping Drives Travel

Since mid-2020, the Chinese government implemented a tax-free shopping policy to attract visitors to Hainan, China’s largest and most populous island. Duty-free shopping on Hainan continues to rise—peaking on May 1st and 2nd with a YoY growth of 350%.

And as more people traveled to Macau this year, the transaction value on WeChat Pay increased by 293% compared to October 1, 2020—the start of Golden Week, China’s other famous shopping holiday.

Travel Marketing Tip #3:  To capture this growth, travel-retail brands can optimize their WeChat account with product catalogs and get creative with coupon campaigns, KOL marketing, and virtual try-ons to incentivize travel to duty-free destinations and shop till you drop.


To learn more, check out our blog post for 3 key takeaways from WeChat’s May Day Travel Report 2021.

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