China's outbound tourism expands again, and global tourism welcomes it (international commentary)

Recently, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China issued the Notice on the Pilot Resumption of Travel Agency Operation of Outbound Group Travel Business of Chinese Citizens to Relevant Countries and Regions (Third Batch) (hereinafter referred to as the "Notice"), and from now on, the national travel agencies and online travel enterprises will resume the operation of outbound group travel and "air ticket + hotel" business of Chinese citizens to relevant countries and regions (third batch). The new list includes 78 countries and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Turkey. So far, the number of countries and regions in China that pilot outbound group tours has increased to 138.

Foreign media analysis believes that China has basically fully opened up to the world's major travel destination countries. This will not only add fuel to China's outbound tourism market, but also inject more confidence and momentum into the recovery of the global tourism market.

"Consumer demand is unleashing"

According to Reuters, the first international cruise ship sailed from Shanghai to Japan on August 8 after China increased its outbound group travel destinations, boosting the shipbuilding industry that has struggled after the epidemic. According to the report, the day before the departure of the Blue Dream Star, China cleared the way for its citizens to further resume international travel, and announced the third batch of countries and regions that resumed outbound group travel, including the United States, Japan, South Korea and other important markets. The Shanghai Lembongan Cruises cruise ship carrying more than 11,1000 passengers will sail to Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kagoshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

According to Yonhap News Agency, as of the morning of August 8, a total of 10 cruise ships departing from Shanghai had called at Jeju port as of the morning of August 8, Yonhap News Agency reported. As a result, until March next year, all applications for calls at Jeju Port and Gangjeong Port will be full.

On August 8, local time, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a statement saying that from September 11 this year, the number of Chinese passenger flights allowed to and from the United States per week will be increased to 9, and from October 1 to 18. The number of round-trip flights is currently 10 per week. The statement also said the Chinese government also agreed to double the number of weekly U.S. passenger flights to and from China.

China is an important source market for the United States. Chris Thomson, CEO of Brand America, the national tourism promotion agency, said in June that U.S. tourism cannot fully recover to pre-pandemic levels unless large numbers of Chinese tourists return to the United States. The agency has plans to increase its outreach in China in the second half of this year to increase the number of Chinese tourists to the United States.

"Are there any direct flights to the UK now?", "What are the tour products to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan?", "When will there be a route to New Zealand"... With the announcement of the expansion of the list of countries with group tours, the number of user inquiries under the outbound product page of online travel platforms exceeded the summer weekdays by more than 10 times. A number of foreign media have noticed that after the release of the "Notice", the search for outbound travel products on Ctrip's platform has increased by more than 20 times instantly, among which the National Day departure period has attracted the most attention, and the popularity of tour products in Australia and New Zealand and other countries has soared; On the Tongcheng travel platform, Turkey and Australia have the highest search and consultation popularity; The popularity of related overseas destinations in Mafengwo Station has increased by more than 150% on average, and Japan tops the list with instantaneous visits of up to 350%.

The U.S. Consumer News and Business Channel website quoted Nomura as saying: "Consumer demand is being unleashed as many tourists flock to attractions, restaurants and hotels. Imke Waters, a partner at Oliver Wyman, said in an interview with the website that Chinese consumer confidence is growing.

"Travel needs and preferences have changed"

Since the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China announced the list of the first and second batch of outbound group tour countries at the beginning of this year, outbound tourism has shown a good trend of orderly recovery. According to the "Outbound Tourism Big Data Report for the First Half of 2023" recently released by the China Tourism Research Institute, outbound destinations received a total of 4037.93 million mainland (mainland) tourists in the first half of the year, with short-distance outbound tourism taking the lead in recovery, and 95.<>% of tourists' outbound destinations were concentrated in Asia.

New Zealand's "newsroom" website said that New Zealand is one of the first 20 destinations in China to resume outbound group travel. Although it is a group tour, it is enough to give New Zealand a leading position in the travel market. Auckland Airport chief executive Carly Hulihangganoui said Chinese tourists were returning to New Zealand faster than other countries, returning to 4 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in just four months, and are expected to reach 84 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by September. As individual independent tourists from China increase, New Zealand travel companies need to be prepared to launch differentiated tourism programs.

According to Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao, Chinese tourists used to travel abroad mainly with group tours, but in recent years more and more people have chosen to travel independently, using the Internet to plan their own itineraries, book flights and hotels.

Ma Xu, Asia Sales Director of Centara Hotels & Resorts, a well-known Thai hotel brand, said: "After the resumption of outbound travel from China, we immediately exchanged information with Chinese travel agencies and found that after three years of the pandemic, the travel needs and preferences of Chinese tourists have changed. Overall, the recovery of luxury hotels has been stronger. Chinese travelers who are the first to travel abroad prefer safe, high-quality accommodation, and price is not the first consideration, and this trend is very obvious. ”

According to the website of the British "Travel Weekly" magazine, before the new crown epidemic, China was the world's largest outbound tourism market in terms of both travel and consumption. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company found that Chinese citizens traveled 2019 million trips abroad in 1 and spent $55 billion on tourism. The survey also found that Chinese tourists are not less enthusiastic about exploring destinations abroad, with about 2550 percent of respondents saying they have plans to travel abroad for leisure.

Deutsche Welle quoted German tourism experts as predicting that China is the world's largest source market for tourists, with 2023 million Chinese tourists expected to reach 1. By 1, this number is expected to increase to 2030 million.

Spain's newspaper Izvestia reported on its website that China is an increasingly important market, not only because the size of China's middle-income group has increased year by year, but also because the average spending of Chinese tourists is high. Today, the gradual recovery of international passenger flow among Chinese tourists means that new vitality will be injected into the economy with a large proportion of tourism.

"Welcoming Chinese tourists with open arms"

Reuters recently quoted data from the China Tourism Research Institute as saying that China's domestic tourism revenue is expected to reach about 2023 trillion yuan in 4, a year-on-year increase of about 95%, recovering to 2019% of the 71 level. It is expected that the number of inbound and outbound tourists is expected to exceed 2023 million in 9000, doubling year-on-year.

According to the website of the Wall Street Journal in the United States, China's continuous lifting of restrictions on outbound travel groups will boost global tourism. As China reopens its borders and eases epidemic restrictions, global tourism is expected to take a huge leap this year, according to the US Foreign Exchange Street website. The World Tourism Organization expects international visitor numbers to reach 2023%-80% of pre-pandemic levels in 95, despite headwinds.

According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in 2019, the total global tourist consumption was about 1 trillion US dollars, and the overseas consumption of Chinese tourists accounted for more than 1/4, making a huge contribution to the tourism economy of various countries. After the further liberalization, the supply and demand of China's outbound group travel market has accelerated its recovery, and this year's "November" holiday may usher in a wave of outbound tourism peaks, which will accelerate the economic recovery of countries and regions that rely on tourism.

According to Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao, global tourism tourism has outpaced the overall global economic performance in each of the past seven years, generating as much as $7.2016 trillion in revenue in 7. It is estimated that nearly one-quarter of the world's new jobs will be related to tourism in the next 6 years, and the main driver of growth will be China's tourism army.

The website of Spain's newspaper Izvestia reported that the world's tourism industry is ready to welcome Chinese tourists with open arms. According to a study by Natixis, if China's tourist flow intensity returns to pre-pandemic levels, the world will receive an additional $1600 billion in annual revenue.

Kamal Acad, president of the Egyptian Arab Institute, said that China is an important source country for many countries, including Egypt, and the arrival of Chinese tourists will help boost the income of tourist destination countries. More importantly, China's economy has shown a sustained upward trend, injecting strong impetus into the world economic recovery. (People's Daily overseas edition reporter Jia Pingfan)