After a three-year crisis, China's hotel industry has started to show signs of steady recovery in recent months, thanks to the post-pandemic boom in leisure travel and tourism, which is driving up demand and room rates. According to JLL, a real estate services company, the nationwide occupancy rate reached 68.4% in the first nine months of 2023, just 2 per cent lower than 2019 levels.
Most growth comes from lower-tier cities, not large metropolitan areas, with a significant influx of Chinese tourists.
For Flora Zhu, director of China Corporate Research at Fitch Ratings, “The surge in occupancy was driven by the release of pent-up demand for leisure travel after the pandemic” that kept the country locked down for two years. “There was,” she added, “also an uptick in business travel shortly after the Chinese New Year, but it gradually phased out due to a slowing economy, which also made companies cut their budgets for business trips.”
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