What is the Current Status of Homestays During May Day in Suzhou?
Writer: Xiang Nan
Edit: Ma Wugang
With the arrival of the May Day holiday, China's domestic tourism market is gradually recovering and more and more tourists are starting to plan their holidays. During this “Golden Week”, short trips and nearby excursions are the top choices for consumers, driving the demand for homestays. However, with the holiday boom, the prices of homestays have generally increased, making many tourists sigh at the price hike and making them more cautious when choosing homestays.
(Photo by Xiang Nan in Suzhou, China)
In recent years, the homestay market in China has developed rapidly, with various types of homestays emerging like mushrooms after rain. According to data from iResearch, the scale of the Chinese homestay market reached RMB 217 billion in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 29.6 percent. By 2025, the market scale is expected to reach RMB 580 billion. This development trend benefits from consumers' pursuit of personalized and characteristic travel experiences and the support of national policies for the homestay industry.
(Photo by Xiang Nan in Suzhou, China)
In order to avoid high expenses during the May Day holiday, Ms. Zhang Nan began to pay attention to and compare homestay prices one month in advance. She made reservations through multiple platforms, striving to find cost-effective homestays. Ms. Zhang shared her experience in choosing homestays: "I choose homestays with complete facilities, good reviews for service, and convenient locations. At the same time, I also pay attention to homestays that offer May Day special promotions to ensure cost-effectiveness during my trip."
Mr. Chen Xiaobin and his family traveled to Yunnan during the May Day holiday. To avoid being overcharged, he searched the internet for a large number of articles and advice on how to choose homestays. Mr. Chen said: "When choosing a homestay, I try to avoid overly commercialized areas and opt for locally-operated homestays with distinctive features. This way, I can not only enjoy better service but also gain a deeper understanding of the local culture."
In addition, the main reasons for the rise in homestay prices are the surge in market demand and limited supply. During golden tourism periods like the May Day holiday, many consumers choose to travel, leading to a significant increase in demand for homestays. Meanwhile, due to the pandemic, some homestays have temporarily closed or reduced their listings, resulting in a tight market supply and pushing up homestay prices. Moreover, homestay operators aim to stand out in the fierce market competition by raising prices to cover costs and provide better quality services and facilities.
However, consumers also pay attention to factors such as the geographical location, facilities, and service quality of homestays when choosing them. As the examples of Mr. Li, Ms. Zhang, Mr. Chen, and Ms. Wang mentioned earlier show, consumers will combine their needs and budgets and evaluate various factors when looking for homestays. Therefore, providing cost-effective homestays becomes key in the context of rising prices.
The surge in homestay prices during the May Day holiday is an inevitable result of the imbalance between market demand and supply. However, for the homestay industry to survive in a highly competitive market, relying solely on price advantage is not enough. Homestay operators should focus on consumers' needs, providing cost-effective homestays with high-quality services, convenient locations, and comfortable facilities. At the same time, consumers should pay attention to cost-effectiveness, taking into account factors such as location, facilities, and services when choosing homestays. Only in such market competition can the homestay industry continuously innovate, improve service quality, meet consumers' needs, and achieve sustainable development.