Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.

The tourism industry is getting a boost this coming week thanks to the Chinese government’s extension of the May 1 International Labor Day holiday to four days. With many in the nation not working the following weekend, there’s more opportunity for travel. While the holiday is still relatively short, there are still some tourists willing to head out to long-haul destinations — the U.S. is the top long-haul destination for the week.

Didi Expands Operations in Japan

Chinese taxi-hailing app Didi Chuxing has launched Didi Mobility Japan in Tokyo and Kyoto after it had already introduced the service in Osaka in September 2018. In total, the app will serve 13 cities in Japan. The company hopes that the service expansion will attract more local users, as well as the increasing number of Chinese tourists to Japan. Didi Mobility Japan is a joint venture with Japanese corporation SoftBank Corp.

Marriott Bets on China and WeChat       

Hotel chain operator Marriott is planning a major expansion in China and hopes to build a strong relationship with Chinese guests. About half of its 300 planned new properties across Asia are slated for China. The company also plans to offer guests services via WeChat, as well as Facebook and WhatsApp. Additionally, they will also hire Mandarin-speaking staff to better serve Chinese guests in popular destinations like San Francisco and London.

Can ‘The Avengers’ Boost Tourism to Australia?

During a press tour of China for “Avengers: Endgame,” Australian actor Chris Hemsworth took part in an unrelated press conference to talk about travel to Australia. Hemsworth, who plays the Marvel character Thor, became the global ambassador for Tourism Australia in 2016. While in Shanghai, the actor, along with Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung shared their favorite experiences about Australia during a session attended by local media and key opinion leaders (KOLs).

Sold Out: May Holiday Demand Exceeds Expectations

In the run up to the newly-extended May holiday, popular flight routes and accommodations are sold out. In particular, homestays have become more popular this year with more Chinese tourists. Destinations with sold-out flights include Tokyo, Osaka, and Dubai. China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip.com International expects a 50 percent increase in tourists compared to the recent Tomb Sweeping Day (Qingming) holiday.

Politics Continues Its Role in Travel

Friendly relations with the Chinese government certainly can lead to a tourism boom for some countries — nations that have shunned Taiwan in favor of China in recent years can attest to the trend. Now, Eastern European countries that have signed on to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative are seeing a significant increase in Chinese arrivals.

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