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Travel bugs prefer not to stray too far

PEOPLE from the Chinese mainland will travel to nearby overseas destinations during the Spring Festival holiday, indicating their travel enthusiasm has not been dampened by the global economic crisis, according to a Nielson's recent online survey of respondents in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

However, about half of the tourists from the mainland and Hong Kong are feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown and will cut down spending on traveling, the survey said.

The survey, done by the Nielson Co China between the last 10 days of last month and this month's first 10 days on 3,000 people in the mainland, 1,000 in Hong Kong and 1,000 in Taiwan, showed that people from the mainland have a higher passion for traveling than people in the other two places.

More than half of the mainland respondents said they planned to take a trip during the Spring Festival holiday, which is between January 25 and 31, a jump of 10 percent from the same period last year. In Hong Kong 35 percent said they would take a vacation while in Taiwan 46 percent said they were keen to do so.

"Facing the economic challenge, Chinese travelers are looking for ways to save money," said Grace Pan, head of travel and leisure search at Nielson. "For example, they will choose short-term travel to closer destinations and travel in groups."

Asian countries will be more popular during the holiday than last year's, while European countries are likely to see a significant drop in travel inquiries. "Last year's survey showed 12 percent of the people planned to go to France and 6 percent to the United Kingdom," said Pan. "This year they fell to 3 percent and 2 percent respectively."


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