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In tandem with the fast approaching Christmas and New Year’s holiday season comes the country’s peak season for travel. Moreover, just as areas all around China are experiencing cooler temperatures, conversely no other holiday destination for this year’s holiday season are more burning hot than the bustling southern tourist cities of Hong Kong and Sanya. Furthermore, the northern skiing destination of Harbin is equally popular. The hotels in these cities have all – nearly without exception – raised the cost of their rooms. Overall, the hotel industry has emerged this holiday season to be comparatively busy in the northern and southern parts of the country whereas, as a rule, the hotel industry in other areas of China is quiet and idle.

Hong Kong has become the nation’s most in demand holiday season destination with many travelers arriving in the city to take advantage of the many stores offering Christmas and New Year’s holiday shopping promotions. Recently, the hotels of Hong Kong have had an increase in hotel reservations. The Hong Kong hotel industry at present has a reservation rate in which over 90% of hotel rooms are already booked; as a rule, reservations during the Christmas season are especially hard to obtain in Hong Kong. With regards to the price of hotel rooms during the Christmas period, hotels graded with the lowest star rating in Hong Kong increase the cost of their rooms by 20% over the usual rate whereas 5-star hotels do not typically change their prices by a huge margin.

Along with the arrival of the cold snap of winter, famous scenic tourist attractions in the southern regions of the country have also become more popular and busy. According to the travel website Ctrip, hotels in Sanya during this year’s holiday season are busy and this business trend rises simultaneously with the sharp rise in cost of booking a hotel room. In the period from Christmas to New Year, the 5-star hotels in Sanya have a quoted room price of approximately 1500 RMB each; the rate for 4-star hotels is about 600 RMB per room, 3-star hotels are approximately 400 RMB per room, and 2-star hotels have a quoted price of approximately 250 RMB per room. During the holiday season hotels of every star rating will generally have a price increase of 50% more than prices during normal, non-peak times; this price is even higher than that of the quoted prices for hotel rooms during Golden Week (Chinese Spring Festival). Additionally, the advertised prices for hotel rooms in Xiamen and Lijiang have also risen slightly.

It is worth mentioning that even though Hangzhou is a famous traditional scenic area and not in the same category as other warm southern tourist destinations, Hangzhou is still seen as a favourable destination by tourists during the New Year’s season. Hotel reservations during this time are still comparatively in-demand. Hotels of every variety and star-rating appear to have price increases of at least 10% to 40%. Furthermore, skiing in northern areas during this time remains a popular focus during the Christmas and New Year’s season for tourists and as such has sharply pushed up hotel room prices. According to Ctrip, the cost of a 5-star hotel room in Harbin is approximately 850 RMB whereas 4-star hotel rooms cost about 500 RMB, 3-star hotel rooms cost about 300 RMB, and 2-star hotel rooms cost about 200 RMB. Overall, it appears that hotels of every star-rating here have increased their room prices from 10% to 40% above what they charge during non-peak times.

In contrast, some traditionally known commercial cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, as well as some coastal tourist cities such as Dalian and Qingdao, all do not appear to have a marked increase hotel room prices during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. Instead, the cost of booking a room at hotels in these cities appears to be comparatively stable. Therefore, if holiday enthusiasts were to select these cities to vacation and tour, then they would find the hotel room prices there to be favourably cost-effective.



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