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China’s Travel & Tourism Sector Witnesses Remarkable Resurgence, WTTC Reports

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has highlighted a significant recovery in China’s Travel & Tourism sector.

According to the latest Economic Impact Research by WTTC, China’s Travel & Tourism sector is anticipated to contribute $1.48 trillion to the national economy by the end of 2023, marking over a 150% increase from 2022, when the sector contributed $583 billion to the economy.

WTTC projects that, a decade from now, the sector will contribute over $4 trillion to China’s economy, showcasing extraordinary growth, surpassing global CAGR nearly 2:1. It is also predicted that the sector will support over 74 million jobs in China this year, an increase of more than 18% from 2022, and just 9% behind 2019 levels. By 2033, the sector is expected to support over 31 million additional jobs, totaling almost 106 million, representing nearly one in seven jobs across China.

WTTC’s report, “A World in Motion,” underscores a sustained global interest in traveling to China. Search data for hotels and flights in December 2022 indicated a particular interest from the Americas and sustained interest from the Asia-Pacific region.

Data from ForwardKeys, WTTC’s knowledge partner, shows a 90% increase in outbound passengers from mainland China last year, totaling 3.6 million. Although this is significantly lower than the 2019 peak of 47.9 million, it is a substantial increase from the historic low of 1.9 million outbound passengers in 2021. The year-to-date data for 2023 shows a staggering 506% increase in outbound passenger numbers, reaching 22.1 million between January and August.

Inbound passenger data reflects a similar trend, with numbers reaching 3.3 million last year, an 89% increase from the previous year. The year-to-date data for 2023 shows inbound passenger numbers have grown 556% to reach 21.9 million between January and August.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, emphasized the enduring desire to travel, noting the eagerness of Chinese travelers to explore the world and the enthusiasm of international travelers to visit China, a country rich in culture, landscapes, and hospitality.

Additionally, the report provides insights into the travel and tourism contributions to the economies of Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai, all showing significant increases in both outbound and inbound passengers and contributions to their respective economies in 2022 and year-to-date data for 2023, highlighting the robust recovery and growth in the travel and tourism sector across different regions in China.

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