Domestic tourism has been deemed the ‘lifeline’ for travel resurgence post-Covid-19 in China, but should not be overly anticipated as 44% of Chinese tourists remain extremely concerned about their personal financial situation (GlobalData latest Coronavirus China consumer recovery results (week 8).
The ‘Golden Week’ in China is a national holiday lasting seven days beginning on 1 October and is typically one of the busiest times for travel in the world’s most populous country. Airlines, tour operators and attractions may be deeming this week as a lifeline. However, 29% of Chinese travellers have remained ‘extremely concerned’ about the global outbreak of Covid-19, 33% have this same level of concern about the current economic situation they are living in and 44% echo this about their own personal financial situation.
These results reflect responses that were taken over an eight-week period ranging from 10-14 June to 16-20 September 2020. Even though cases have been declining across China, this graph highlights that concerns regarding Covid-19 and economic constraints have in fact, marginally increased over the eight-week period.
China’s domestic tourism industry way surpasses that of international travel with 3.1bn domestic trips having taken place in 2019, compared to 165m international trips. International trips are still largely prohibited as the Foreign Ministry warned on 28 September that individuals should still avoid international trips unless ‘absolutely necessary’ due to the spread of Covid-19. After long-standing restrictions on international travel, the build-up of pent-up demand regarding domestic travel has begun to circulate.
Many are likely to travel during this national holiday but domestic spending will still be considerably knocked due to economic constraints. GlobalData’s forecasts state that domestic spending in China will decrease by -30.7% to $573bn in 2020.
China’s Culture and Tourism Ministry ordered tourist sites to restrict capacity to 75% during Golden Week, which is up from 50% from previous months. To ensure contact tracing is carried out, visitors have to register online in advance prior to their visit. Trip.com Group, China’s largest travel agency estimated the number of trips that will be made will be over 600m. The majority of restrictions have been lifted, however there are still some concerns. Schools in Beijing and Shanghai have asked parents and students not to go away for this holiday – only if it is inherently necessary.
The threat of Covid-19 and the possibility of a second wave continues to circulate industry news and millions are still expected to travel during this national holiday, yet economic constraints will still cause many to ‘tighten their wallets’.
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