Chinese tourists' appetite for traveling overseas will prevail despite the ongoing pandemic, which, according to experts and industry players, will be a positive signal for the recovery of global tourism.
"Just like nobody would have ever imagined China to be the world's largest outbound tourism market, one cannot make the judgment now that Chinese tourists will lose their interest in traveling abroad," said Wendy Min, director of international affairs at Trip.com Group, a leading online travel agency in China.
In a report in August last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said the number of outbound Chinese travelers had maintained the top spot globally since 2013.
Min said she is optimistic about the recovery of Chinese outbound tourism after the pandemic. "People will go overseas if their safety and health can be ensured," she said, noting the demand for travel remains high among Chinese.
A case in point is a livestreamed program on July 1 hosted by Trip.com and the Seoul-based Korea Tourism Organization. Aiming to promote and sell tourism products in South Korea, the show attracted more than 2 million viewers. A number of hotel vouchers were sold out on the same day, according to the country's Yonhap News Agency.
Similarly, a report by Rentals United - a short-term rental platform based in the United Kingdom - predicted that Chinese travelers will be the first to resume traveling after lockdown restrictions are lifted within the nation and worldwide. The prediction came after an impressive tourism recovery during the four-day Labor Day holiday in May and the Dragon Boat Festival in late June.
Arlt of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute said that after the pandemic, the way that Chinese tourists travel might change.
Some people may look for more meaningful journeys as opposed to vanity trips, while others might travel more with their family, seek out natural destinations and activities, or slow down and become more interested in local culture, he said.
Arlt expects to see a wave of Chinese outbound tourism in the last quarter of 2020.
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