HK is No. 1 choice for Christmas trips
Hong Kong is the destination of choice for most mainland travelers this Christmas, a new survey has found.
Forty-four percent of the 2,000 people polled, all of whom have an annual income of more than 60,000 yuan, said they were planning to visit the region over the festive period.
Other popular destinations included Shanghai (10 percent), Sanya in Hainan Province (9 percent), Lijiang in Yunnan Province, Bali in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand and Harbin in Heilongjiang Province.
Conducted by the online travel firm ctrip.com, the survey found people were most interested in places with a "strong holiday atmosphere", "good shopping environment" and "excellent hotels and beaches" when choosing a destination for their Christmas getaway.
Tang Yibo, director of Ctrip.com's holiday department, said: "Embodying both Eastern and Western cultures, Hong Kong stands out because it has not only a vibrant Christmas atmosphere, but also offers lots of shopping and entertainment facilities, and big discounts at this time of year."
The convenience of traveling between the mainland and Hong Kong is also an important factor, Tang said.
Lin Kang, deputy general manager of the outbound tourism department of the China International Travel Service Head Office, said tour packages to Hong Kong are always bestsellers at Christmas.
He said the reason was that Chinese do not have much time off work at Christmas and the New Year so they cannot travel too far.
"When it comes to the week long Spring Festival holiday, destinations like Europe will be more popular," he said.
Packages for the Spring Festival are now available, he said, with some of them to Australia and New Zealand already sold out.
Some travel experts have said the high volume of holiday bookings for this year's Spring Festival is due to the cancellation of the May Day holiday.