Is China Leading the Tourism Industry Recovery?
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In March 2020, Covid-19 slashed travel demand worldwide, people had to stay home and could only dream about travelling when the situation got better. China was the first place to suffer these consequences. The country started the lockdown in January 2020 but now it seems China is leading tourism recovery. About 200 million trips were expected to be made across the mainland for the past Labour Day holiday.
Experts predicted a considerable boost in the number of people on the road and hotel reservations during 1-5 May, which means the number of domestics trips in China during May Day holidays would likely exceed the level of 2019, according to data from online travel service provider qunar.com.The increase in the number of trips and bookings was also seen at the last Spring Festival, since Shanghai and Beijing surpassed or almost reached the levels seen in 2019.
However, tourism income will remain below the pre-pandemic level. Domestic tourism has almost recovered in the number of trips b, but people do not spend the same money they used to. Therefore, experts say we are still far from total tourism recovery in China.
- Type of traveller
Most tourists don’t have children, only 30% say they are parents and want to travel with their kids. “Private groups” tours referring to family or couples, are also increasing. The average of “private groups” had increased by 533 per cent compared with 2019. Trip.com said 70% of travellers would leave their municipality or province. It is interesting to observe that most of the people travel by car, meaning that they are still aware of the Covid-19 and want to prevent catching the virus by using private transport. Consequently, the number of car-rentals has also risen.
- Regarding restrictions…
Mainland residents do not need to quarantine when arriving in Macau, they just need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, for this reason the city became the most popular destination for tourists who want to leave mainland China. Reservations to Macau for the Labour Day break were up 20 per cent from 2019.
Travellers from domestic low-risk areas arriving in Beijing do not have to provide negative nucleic acid test results. The Chinese capital had no new locally transmitted cases for over a month, therefore the government was able to reduce COVID -19 restrictions.
There were going to be no temperature checks at community and village entrances, but instead a capacity restriction of 75 % indoor and outdoor cultural and entertainment venues such as libraries, theatres, museums and parks. After the announcement there was a huge increase in the number of flights and train ticket bookings in and out of Beijing.
Tourism still had a long way to go before it recovered from the damage caused by the pandemic, but we can be optimistic as the data show China, the first country to suffer pandemic consequences, is recovering, and tourism numbers are closer to the ones in 2019. Our free COVID-19 Dashboard, where we share data extracted from all the transactions taken place in our marketplace, predict bookings are rising worldwide. The USA, Portugal and Spain are the most sought-after destinations right now. Our dream of travelling again and enjoying a good holiday is becoming a reality.