May Day holiday nears, China's holiday potentially boosts global oil market

Consumer Staples Author: Notrice Apr 27, 2023 07:58 PM (GMT+8)

May Day holiday in 2023 is the first golden week holiday after the relaxation of pandemic control in China.

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Compared to the pandemic years of 2020 to 2022, the market's confidence in various indicators has significantly rebounded. According to Meituan(美团), the search volume for keywords related to holiday travel such as "hotels", "vacation", "tickets", and "food" has increased by 313% compared to the same period in 2019. In addition, "gourmet travel", "immersive", "stay-and-play" have become new trends in consumer spending during this holiday.

Alibaba's(阿里巴巴) travel platform, Fliggy(飞猪)shows that the bookings for domestic flights, hotels, scenic spot tickets, and group tours during the May Day golden week have all surpassed the same period in 2019.Moreover, orders for medium and long-distance trips accounted for more than 90% of the total. In addition, the average customer price during the May Day holiday has increased by more than 30% compared to last year.

Cross-Provincial Tourism Market Booms

As for domestic travel, the search index for domestic flights during the May Day holiday on Ctrip(携程) has already exceeded the same period in 2022, and has recovered to 110% of the same period in 2019. The hotel market is even more popular.

With the lifting of quarantine measures, the tourism market has shifted from short-distance trips to medium and long-distance trips. Ctrip shows that long-distance travel orders during the May Day holiday account for nearly 70%. In addition, the ticket booking volume for some popular scenic spots has also increased significantly.

Airline ticket bookings and prices rise together

According to data from multiple travel platforms such as Flight Master(航班管家), as of April 10th, the number of domestic flight bookings for popular destinations during the May Day holiday has far exceeded the same period last year. In addition, the average transaction price of domestic flights is 1,163 yuan, an increase of 33.86% compared to last year's May Day holiday.

Rapid Recovery of Catering Market Various Measures to Boost

EqualOcean argues that the 2023 May Day holiday will be one of the factors driving strong recovery in the restaurant industry, and many restaurant enterprises have started stocking up and preparing to meet the surge in customers. This indicates that the catering market is continuously recovering and relies on various measures introduced by local governments to boost the economy and promote consumption.

Many restaurant enterprises have indicated that based on the recovery of customer traffic since this year's Spring Festival, they expect the traffic during this holiday to be three times higher than usual holidays. The overall catering industry across the country is also expected to experience a business peak。

Sharp Increase in Homestay Reservations

After extensive coverage by major media outlets, Zibo(淄博) has become one of the top ten cities in China with a high occupancy rate. During the holiday, accommodation in popular cities became a scarce commodity, and many cities faced a shortage of available rooms. "Stay + play" has become the choice of many consumers during the holiday. Hotels and homestays continue to enhance the tourist experience, allowing tourists to enjoy themselves in a comfortable accommodation environment.

Cross-border tourism heats up again

On April 25, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced further measures to facilitate the entry and exit of Chinese and foreign personnel. Starting from April 29, airlines will no longer require PCR tests for passengers coming to China, and the restrictions on cross-border tourism will be further relaxed.

According to data from Utour Group(众信旅游集团), the number of domestic group tours increased by 2,000% compared to the same period last year. In addition, during the "May Day" holiday, the market for cross-border tourism has heated up again. Hotel prices in Hong Kong and Macau have both increased significantly.In the short-haul market, visa-free countries with convenient visa policies, such as Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand, are popular among families and groups.

Foreign investment expects May Day to help revive the petroleum economy

The reopening of China is expected to help the global energy market recover, with China's jet fuel demand predicted to increase by 430,000 barrels per day this year, nearly half of China's total oil demand forecast, and one-third of the International Energy Agency's forecast for global jet fuel demand growth of 1.2 million barrels.

Chinese travelers are also expected to provide a significant boost to the petroleum industry during the May Day holiday, with over 100 million people potentially traveling overseas, consuming millions of tons of jet fuel. Some analysts even believe that this tourism boom could surpass the peak in 2019 when about 170 million Chinese citizens traveled abroad. Morgan Stanley estimates that China's jet fuel consumption is widely seen as one of the biggest drivers of global oil demand growth this year.

The Chinese National Radio and Television Administration(中国国家广播电视总局) reported on Friday that during the May Day holiday starting on April 29, there will be approximately 9 million air travel trips, compared to 6.9 million during the same period in 2019. S&P Global's Director for China's petroleum market, Shi Fenglei, stated that China's domestic jet fuel demand has already almost fully recovered, and international jet fuel demand has also recovered to nearly 70% of pre-pandemic levels. Therefore, she believes that the May Day holiday may mark China's total consumption of jet fuel approaching full recovery.