- Özgür Töre
The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly imposed enormous impact on the worldwide travel industry. A report reveals when China’s outbound travel market will recover.
China is one of the most important source markets for many destinations in the world. According to China Tourism Agency, China's outbound tourism market grew to 149 million trips in 2018, up 14.7% from 2017. Outbound spending by Chinese tourists exceeded US$130 billion, an increase of more than 13%. Not only is the scale of Chinese outbound tourism increasing, but the satisfaction of Chinese tourists with their destinations is also increasing. The market is expected to exceed US$163 Billion by 2024.
According to 2020 China Market Recovery study that surveyed about 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, 43 percent of those surveyed expect that outbound travel will recover within the next nine to twelve months. 33 percent think it might take six to nine months, whereas 20 percent believe it will take three to six months, and only four percent expect to see a recovery within the next three months.
“China was hit first and should therefore be one of the first countries to recover, which would prove to be positive for European-Chinese tourism cooperation. By the time Europe can go back to normal, China might be ready for long haul travel again.” said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Tourism Commission, in an interview with ITB China. “We expect the European travel industry to recover in 2021.”
How Chinese travel operators & outbound travel agencies are handling risk management
Coping with the COVID-19 crisis, Chinese travel operators and outbound travel agencies have made all efforts to prepare for the recovery by restructuring their operations, engaging in internal employee training programs as well as maintaining close external communication with partners and customers. The survey revealed that even with the suspension of business during the outbreak, travel agencies and travel-related companies have proactively and consistently communicated with their customers. 66.5 percent of the respondents communicate with stakeholders weekly, 16.5 percent share updates every two weeks, while 17 percent communicate on a monthly basis.
How Chinese travel operators & outbound travel agencies maintain customer relations and prepare for the recovery
James Liang, Trip.com Group Chairman said: "Different measures taken by different countries and territories will hinder international travels, which will impose certain pressure on short-term upward tendency. However, in the long run, the industry is extremely resilient and any irreversible change is highly unlikely.”
The complete version of the ITB China Travel Trends Report- The 2020 China Market Recovery Special Edition will be published on www.itb-china.com in the next month.