Chinese travel app and website Qyer — on which more than 80 million users share reviews, travel itineraries, and seek out tourism insights — released its annual infographic-style report on January 18.  

Here are some of Qyer’s key findings about year in Chinese travel unlike any other.


Domestic data

Qyer reports visits to its domestic travel section grew at a staggering 400 percent a month since March. In addition, 83 percent of consumers who had plans to travel abroad did so domestically instead, with 43 percent showing a deeper interest in “special customized routes,” “niche destinations,” “deep travel,” and “self-drive travel.”

The report also shows the pivot to local destinations during 2020 led to an increase in frequency, with close to 70 percent of Qyer users taking more than four trips across the year. Travel spending dropped by nearly $400 across the board last year, but 46 percent of Qyer users spent in excess of $4500 on domestic travel.

Trending terms

Qyer’s viral search terms reveal the concerns and hopes of Chinese consumers during a deeply disruptive year. 

The emergence of “cloud travel” evidences the popularity of new online experiences as lockdowns deepened. Searches for “return and change guarantee” and “flexible flights” show the will to protect against constantly shifting travel regulations. The entries “self-travel,” “self-drive,” “local travel,” and “private group” mark a will to control a traveler’s environment as much as possible.

And as lockdowns lifted and travel resumed, searches for “Sanya,” “The Great Northwest,” and “Ding Zhen,” a Tibetan key opinion leader (KOL), show the pursuit of less-traveled destinations. 

Popular terms on Qyer such as “self-travel” and “return and change guarantee” reveal travelers’ concerns during a particularly turbulent year. Image: Qyer on Weibo

Trending destinations

Here are the 10 most popular cities and scenic attractions on Qyer in 2020 ranked first to last.


  1. Sanya
  2. Chengdu
  3. Shanghai
  4. Beijing
  5. Chongqing
  6. Guangzhou
  7. Hangzhou
  8. Xi’an
  9. Dali
  10. Changsha

Scenic attractions:

  1. Yading (Sichuan province)
  2. Huangshan (Anhui province)
  3. Erhai (Yunnan province)
  4. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yunnan province)
  5. Forbidden City (Beijing)
  6. Wuzhizhou Island (Hainan province)
  7. Shangri-La (Yunnan province)
  8. Chaka Salt Lake (Qinghai province)
  9. Chengdu Panda Base (Sichuan province)
  10. Mogao Caves (Gansu province)