DestinationsForwardKeys data reveal an increase in flight searches made by Chinese travellers for South Korea.

South Korea tops Chinese travel radar during Covid times

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South Korea's success in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak is believed to a key consideration for Chinese travellers.
South Korea's success in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak is believed to a key consideration for Chinese travellers. Photo Credit: Getty Images

South Korea is the most popular Asian destination among Chinese travellers ahead of the Maldives and Sri Lanka, according to ForwardKeys.

Recent travel data analysis showed that since late-March, there has been an increase in the number of flight searches made by the Chinese to South Korea.

“One of the reasons why South Korea may appeal so much to the Chinese travellers is the fact that it is one of the few countries in the world to have managed and controlled the outbreak of Covid-19 in a safe way, “ said Lorena Garcia, senior analyst at ForwardKeys.

“The relative closeness and increasing frequency of flights between China and South Korea could be other contributing factors to explain this surge of interest,” added Nancy Dai, Asia expert.

The ForwardKeys flight search tool also revealed that despite airfares rising dramatically since 2019, the number of searches has not slowed down. Case in point: For the week starting 29 June, the average was US$706 compared to US$284 a year ago.

Japan and Thailand make up other top searched destinations in June.

The data also revealed a trend for flying later or last-minute. “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have noticed that the average Chinese traveller has gone from two booking months in advance to booking just four days before their flight,” said Dai.

“Knowing who is looking to fly, when and where can save your business money in the investment you make in advertising, product development to even staffing,” added Garcia.

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