March 14 (NBD) -- China is to resume (the second batch of) outbound group travel and related business from March 15, which includes 40 pilot countries, sending the total number of pilot countries to 60, announced the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The news has been met with a surge in searches on online travel agencies, with some countries seeing an increase of more than 300% in searches compared to the previous day.

The click rate on the outbound travel theme page of Ctrip rose by 77%, and the inquiries for visas to the related countries also increased by more than 4 times. Among the 40 countries included in the second batch, the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists are Vietnam, Italy, Serbia, France and Spain.

Online travel agencies are now busy preparing related tour products and visa products and more are expected to be available after March 15. European tours and Southeast Asian tours have become the focus of many travel agencies.

According to Red Star News, Zhang Xinmin, general manager of a travel agency, said the second batch of countries has increased the number of European countries and travel agencies can now organize connected products such as Spain-Portugal, France-Italy-Switzerland, Hungary-Serbia-Croatia and other Eastern European products.

Editor: Tan Yuhan