The Covid-19 pandemic is having a striking effect on the tourism industry worldwide. However, some countries are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
One of these countries is China, whose tourism is showing very promising signs of recovery as the health situation in the country stabilizes. For obvious reasons, domestic tourism is the subsector of the Chinese tourism sector that has benefited most from the recent relaxation of travel restrictions by the government.
Promising Spring Festival Numbers
In this context, the Spring Festival holiday in February played a vital role. According to official data, the number of travelers to the most prominent tourist destinations of the country, like Shanghai or Beijing, reached a similar level to those achieved two years ago.
It is interesting to note that more conventional types of travel grew in popularity. City tours and family trips were particularly popular among Chinese holidaymakers.
Air Travel Recovering
Subsequently, airlines have also benefited from the growth of the Chinese tourism sector. In February, almost 24 million passengers traveled by plane within the country. This constitutes an incredible growth of 187.1 % compared to 2020.
These numbers are very promising, as they essentially correspond to the data from the same period in 2019. The will of the Chinese people to travel is very clear from this surge.
Travel Restrictions in Beijing
As a result of the positive epidemiological situation, the Chinese capital has decided to lift some travel restrictions to facilitate the recovery of the sector. For example, people arriving from certain areas will no longer be obliged to present a negative Covid-19 test. Moreover, temperature checks will be limited, and most facilities will be able to welcome 75 % of their capacities. Thus, further growth of the industry in Beijing can be expected in the coming weeks.
Rise in Reservations
Generally speaking, the situation looks much brighter than in other parts of the world. According to data, reservations for the Qingming Festival in April have seen a rise of 4.5 % compared to the numbers from 2020.
That is perhaps not surprising, seeing as the pandemic was in full swing last year. What is striking, however, is the fact that the number of bookings for the May 1, the first day of the Labor Day holidays, is now higher than for the same date in 2019.
Chinese Vaccine as a Benefit
There are also signs of recovery in terms of international travel for the Chinese tourism sector. The Chinese government has decided to facilitate visa applications for foreigners who wish to travel to the country for business.
Under this new regulation, foreigners who have been vaccinated with a Chinese vaccine will be able to apply for a business visa on the basis of the requirements in place before the pandemic began. The same applies to family members of Chinese citizens living abroad.
It is also interesting to note, that according to the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, China is ready to negotiate mutual vaccination recognition with other countries.
As it stands, it seems that Chinese tourism is on its way to full recovery and beyond, at least in the domestic sector.
It is also confirmed by official estimates, which predict 4.1 billion trips around the country during the year. This amounts to an astonishing increase of 42 % compared to last year. Revenues are also expected to grow, concretely by 48 % to $ 507 billion.