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From cherry blossoms to water festivals: Group reveals Asia’s biggest spring travel trends

SINGAPORE, April 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Spring is a season full of promise and adventure, and across Asia, travellers are embracing the warm weather and exploring the vibrant cultures and mesmerising landscapes that the region has to offer.

From the beauty of the cherry blossom season to the lively festivities of Songkran and the poignant remembrance of Qingming, spring has witnessed a remarkable flow of tourists. Group, a leading global travel service provider, reveals an increasingly strong traveller interest in uncovering hidden gems among these, along with other latest trends of spring travel in Asia.

Chasing cherry blossoms: peak season for blooms driving travel

Across East Asia, the peak season for cherry blossoms has unfolded in Japan, Korea, and China, drawing domestic and overseas travellers alike for a first-hand glimpse of these pink beauties.

In Japan, cherry blossoms are now in full bloom in many major cities, with pink petals adorning historical sites like Kumamoto Castle and Osaka Castle. Likewise, parks and gardens such as Ueno Park and Shiroyama Park have transformed into a pastel wonderland, drawing visitors in droves.

The historic city of Kyoto, in particular, promises a captivating experience with its blend of stunning natural scenery and rich culture. Arashiyama is the hottest Kyoto attraction this April, with the vintage Sagano Romantic Trains winding through cherry blossom trees and the Hozugawa River Boat Ride offering a unique rafting experience complemented by breathtaking views. Furthermore, cultural sites like Tenryu-ji, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and Nijo-jo Castle also draw huge interest from tourists as delicate pink petals dress the traditional architecture in an enchanting display of natural beauty.

According to Group data, the allure of the Sakuras in Japan continues to attract travellers, with flight bookings seeing a remarkable 90% growth this April compared to last year. Chinese tourists remain the top group of international travellers visiting, followed by tourists from South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore.

To help travellers make the most of their trips, has launched a dedicated page for the cherry blossom season, which includes the cherry blossom forecast in Japan with estimated blooming periods and popular viewing spots. The Japan travel guide offers a wealth of information, including tips for entering the country, transportation hacks, eSIM options, relevant flights and nearby hotels, dining options, and fun activities.

Tourists may take advantage of’s cherry blossom limited deals for a more immersive experience. Choose from a variety of kimono styles and stroll through Kiyomizu Temple and Gion in Kyoto, or take a day tour to the Izu Shuzenji Temple and the Kinosaki Coast, where cherry blossom watching, strawberry picking, hot springs, and a special lunch await.

From Jeju Island to Seoul, South Korea is also experiencing peak cherry blossom season in the first half of April. In the capital city, iconic spots like the N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Yeouido Hangang Park especially capture tourist interest. But those seeking to discover more of the country are finding their way to Jinhae, renowned for its cherry blossom festival. Other top spots for floral enthusiasts include Ganghwado and the Incheon Grand Park in Incheon.

The journey to chase cherry blossoms continues online. After snapping their perfect shots of cherry blossoms, users can post in the vibrant Trip Moments Community using limited-edition cherry blossom stickers. In addition to getting cherry blossom badges, top content creators will have the opportunity to win up to 50,000 Trip Coins (US$500), and two lucky users randomly picked can win as much as 80,000 Trip Coins (US$800).

Qingming: going home and stepping out

The Qingming Festival, or the Tomb-Sweeping Day, is observed by people of Chinese heritage as they show respect to the deceased by cleaning tombs and placing offerings. What’s more, it is also marked by beautiful spring weather that is perfect for going out into nature.

With this year’s Qingming Festival public holiday falling on 4-6 April in mainland China, the country witnessed tremendous growth in travel bookings. Many travellers used this occasion for family reunions and traditional rituals to explore their hometowns or nearby destinations. Group witnessed triple-digit growth in local, nearby, and rural travel bookings.

In addition to paying tribute to the departed, unique local experiences also drew huge interest during this short break. Buzzwords like “20 minutes in the park” led to a spike in activities like camping, kite flying, and mountain climbing.

While popular destinations like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou continued to dominate domestic travel interests, this Qingming Festival witnessed the rise of several other cities especially in the central and western parts of China.

Tianshui in Gansu province, in particular, shot to fame in March as its specialty malatang dish went viral on social media. Compared to its counterparts in Sichuan and Chongqing, malatang in Tianshui uses locally grown peppers that are juicier and more aromatic. Group data shows that travel bookings to Tianshui this past Qingming Festival shot up more than 21 times than the same period in 2023.

Similarly, Kaifeng in Henan province drew immense curiosity this April not just for its historical relics but also for the viral live show “Wang Po Matchmaking”. Inspired by the classic novel Water Margin, this show features a “matchmaker” who encourages members of the audience to describe their dream partners on stage and attempts to find matches for them. The show especially spurred travel bookings from nearby cities like Zhengzhou.

Moreover, with flowers like peonies, pear blossoms, and cherry blossoms coming into full bloom, attractions featuring floral landscapes saw heavy traffic during the Qingming Festival. Search volumes doubled for attractions such as Nianhua Bay in Wuxi, the East Lake Cherry Blossom Garden in Wuhan, and the Manhua Manor in Chengdu.

Some travellers, especially millennials, also planned strategically to extend their three-day break. By applying for leave from work on 1-3 April, they could get an eight-day break that allowed for longer trips. For trips overseas, the top destinations included Tokyo, Bangkok, Osaka, Singapore, and Seoul. Theme parks like Universal Studios Japan and Singapore again dominated the top attractions for Chinese travellers, while springtime getaways like Mount Fuji indicated travellers’ eagerness to make the most of the beautiful season.

The Qingming Festival further drew an influx of international travellers to China, as ethnic Chinese visited their ancestral hometowns and travelled around. China’s visa-free policies especially contributed to the growth of inbound tourists. Inbound flight pickup orders via grew 218% year on year, with inbound bookings from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo, and London topping the list.

To inspire international tourists to visit China and explore popular and lesser-known destinations alike, launched the SUPER CHINA campaign in April across its Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia sites. This featured attractive deals in hotels, flights, tours & tickets, airport transfer, and trains, with the campaign highlighting the offerings of one city every two weeks.

Songkran: water fun and super deals

Songkran, the Thai New Year, is also just around the corner. This year’s Songkran falls on 13 April, but celebrations will take place for the entire month of April as the festival is part of Thailand’s push to promote its rich culture and traditions worldwide.

One key highlight of the festival will be the Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 extravaganza between 11-15 April in Bangkok, with the Mahan Songkran Parade featuring 20 grand processions and more than 1,000 performers. Celebrations will also take place in five other locations, namely Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, and Phuket. Group data so far shows that Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai are indeed the hottest destinations for the period around Songkran, with 12 April being the busiest travel day so far. On’s platform, the epic Siam Songkran Music Festival on 12-15 April has drawn the most traveller interest. This huge party at Bangkok’s Central Park will bring together world-class DJs and local artists like Martin Garrix, Tiësto, and 22Bullets to offer live music performances with water festivities.

Coinciding with Songkran festivities, selected Thailand as the first destination featured in its newly launched SUPER SEA campaign. From 1 to 14 April, customers can enjoy unmissable super deals with at least 20% off at 16 hotels, as well as 1-20% off hot deals at 20 other hotels, in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Hat Yai.

To inspire more travellers to enjoy the rich natural and cultural offerings in Southeast Asia, the SUPER SEA campaign will continue into the summer with further promotions in Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and more. More information about the campaign can be found here.

“This is the first Songkran since it was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2023, and is excited to bring travellers around the world to join in the water festivities and immerse themselves in the ancient yet vibrant Thai traditions,” said Ms Diane Cui, General Manager of Thailand. “We strive to provide our users with the best value through our super deals. Our comprehensive product offerings, dynamic content ecosystem, and AI-supported travel assistance will further facilitate travellers to fully enjoy their Songkran experience.”

With so much to discover, there has never been a better time to plan a springtime adventure in Asia. Whether you seek tranquillity or exhilaration, the region offers a plethora of captivating experiences that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. So, pack your bags, follow the call of wanderlust, and let the magic of spring travel captivate your soul.

About Group Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”. Find out more about Group here:

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