Baku, February 16, AZERTAC
Millions of Chinese broke from tradition and spent their vacations traveling abroad this Spring Festival holiday, according to China daily.
Of the 300 million Chinese who traveled during the weeklong holiday, a record 6 million visited overseas destinations, according to Ctrip.com International Ltd, the nation's largest online travel agency. It is customary for Chinese to visit their hometowns and celebrate Chinese New Year with family.
"Outbound tourism surged this Spring Festival and the number of outbound travelers that we handled tripled last year's total," said Liu Qing, vice-president of Tongcheng Network Technology Co Ltd, China's third-largest online travel agency based in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
Bookings through Tongcheng for many popular overseas destinations doubled from last year, with several destinations seeing five times the number of bookings this Spring Festival compared with the 2015 holiday break, Liu said.
Chinese travelers also got a leg up on their holiday travel plans, with more than 80 percent booking their trips at least a month in advance, he said.
Thailand provides multiple-entry visas for up to six months for all foreign travelers, Vietnam reduced its single-entry visa fee from $45 to $25 late last year, while Malaysia has a visa-free policy this year for Chinese travelers from March 1 to Dec 31.