China expects sharp rebound in tourism this year

By Reuters   February 21, 2023 | 07:55 pm PT
China expects sharp rebound in tourism this year
Travelers line up at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport as the Spring Festival travel season begins ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China, January 28, 2021. Photo by Reuters
China expects its tourism market to flourish this year, starting with a busy and robust summer travel season as travelers flock to vacation destinations after the government ended its zero-Covid policy that kept people home for almost three years.

Domestic tourism revenue in 2023 could reach about 4 trillion yuan ($580.8 billion), a year-on-year increase of about 95%, and recover to about 71% of 2019 levels, according to data from the China Tourism Academy.

Domestic tourist numbers are expected to reach around 4.55 billion in 2023, up 80% year-on-year, while inbound and outbound tourists numbers are seen at more than 90 million, doubling year-on-year and recovering to 31.5% of pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022, the number of domestic tourists nationwide was 25.3 billion, down 22.1% year-on-year, according to the data.

"It is expected that the tourism market will enter a new channel of expected strengthening in the second quarter, and the summer vacation is expected to usher in a full recovery," the report said.

Travel service providers were hit particularly hard during the pandemic. After China scrapped its stringent Covid policies, travel across the country ramped up, especially during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which saw a surge in trips.

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