CHINA. The official Chinese public holiday calendar for 2020 has been released, with May’s Labour Day holiday to be extended by one further day.

International Labour Day, which is celebrated on 1 May, will now be extended to a holiday of five consecutive days off in China and run 1-5 May.

In 2019, Labour Day was extended to a period of four consecutive days off. Chinese travel consultancy Dragon Trail Interactive has said Fliggy reported a +150% increase in outbound flight bookings after the extension was announced for 2019, while Hotelbeds’ list of most popular destinations had three times as many cities outside of Asia.

The week-long Chinese holidays see a host of activity across the travel retail world

Chinese New Year, which will herald in the Year of the Rat, is taking place on 25 January. The seven-day national holiday for this will take place 24-30 January. In 2019, 6.31 million Chinese travelled abroad for Chinese New Year (a +12.5% increase compared to 2018), according to the National Immigration Administration. Furthermore, Hurun Report’s research says 64% of the affluent Chinese market planned to travel overseas for the 2019 New Year celebrations.

The other week-long holiday, known as ‘Golden Week’, will be for China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival on 1 October, with days off falling on 1-8 October inclusive. Dragon Trail Interactive reports 7 million Chinese travelled overseas for this holiday in 2019, with Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the US, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, the UK, and Italy as the most popular destinations.

The other official holidays in China in 2020 will be Qingming, Dragon Boat Festival and Western New Year. Qingming, which is traditionally a time for domestic travel to one’s hometown, is taking place 4-6 April next year. The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on 25-27 June, is increasingly a time for long-haul travel despite being a short festival, Dragon Trail Interactive reports, as a result of the favourable weather. The Western New Year on 1 January is also a national holiday in China and coincides with increasing travel by Chinese at Christmas time; ForwardKeys reported a +19.5% growth in Chinese flight bookings to Europe around the Christmas period in 2019.

Official 2020 Chinese holidays (Source: Dragon Trail Interactive)