The results, released on April 28, are based on 15,163 questionnaires, big data from more than 20 million posts on social media accounts and forums as well as a dozen in-depth one-on-one interviews.
The hottest travel destinations
The Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan has become one of the tourist attractions Chinese travelers want to visit the most.
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Wuhan overtook Beijing as the top domestic city on Chinese travelers' wish list after the lockdown.
The city, closely associated with the outbreak of the virus, ranked only eighth according to the data collected between December 2019 and mid-January 2020. The second place was originally taken by Chongqing.
The hashtag "武汉成为疫情后网民最想去旅游的城市" (which roughly translates as "Wuhan becomes the top city netizens want to visit after the epidemic") has become one of the hottest trending topics on Weibo, with 25,000 discussions and 270 million views on the topic. "I think the real reason why netizens would want to visit Wuhan is to see the city that has experienced the historical moments. The epidemic situation has imprinted Wuhan on our minds. We have seen the perseverance and industriousness of Wuhan people," wrote one Weibo user using the hashtag.
Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, became the second most desired province to visit after Beijing province. It wasn't listed in the top 10 before the outbreak. Shennongjia, a 3,253-square-kilometer forest area in Hubei province, and Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan city also rose into the top 20 tourist attractions, according to the study.
"It could be said that the result of the study embodied the deep emotions from the people from around the country, expressing the public's concerns and supports towards the 'hero city,'" Song Rui, the director of the tourism research center, told local media.
How the coronavirus affect how Chinese travel
Internationally, Thailand was the destination Chinese travelers wanted to visit the most in 2020, followed by Russia and Japan.
The United States, which had been top of the list, has dropped out of the top ten entirely, following the outbreak.
The pandemic has affected some travel behaviors and plans.
Travelers with children are 30-44% less likely to want to travel with family in 2020 compared with the year before.
Around a third of interviewees said that they would travel again within three to six months after the crisis has passed.
The study also said that Chinese travelers expected to spend RMB5,746 ($813) on travel in 2020, RMB734 ($103) more than last year.