Search data from Trip.com (Ctrip) indicates how little Chinese travellers are paying attention to overseas destinations at present. While domestic tourist is close to where it was by traveller numbers in both hotels and on airplanes, it is likely to be some time before international tourism returns back to where it was pre-covid.
Interestingly, the US has knocked New Zealand and Australia from the top-2 searched spots for travel research, in light of a Global Times poll found 90% Chinese netizens disfavour US amid tensions. Australia hasn’t fared so well during its geopolitical tensions, with Australia also dropping below the UK and France until April. The drops in searches of >90% are also reflected in shorter haul destination searches around Asia.
The lower travel searches do not point to a more insular Chinese public. Searches for these countries on other digital channels have trended up since COVID hit – not always for the right reasons – but at least Chinese consumers are still paying attention.