China is winner post-pandemic, but service industries still lack behind
09/23/2020|3:37:40 PM|Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

The OECD forecast just published China as the only G20 country with a positive year-on-year GDP growth of 1.8%, all others reported negative growth rates post COVID-19. The average forecast for all G20 countries is -4.1%. For the third quarter of 2020, China’s GDP is supposed to grow by 5%, almost back to the official level of 6% in 2019.

Domestic tourism in China saw a bumper summer season, with hotel occupancy rates and number of flights back to 2019 levels.

Especially the southwestern part of China, the most “exotic” destination to find within China with minority inhabitants and lots of nature left untouched, saw record visitor numbers, as Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, pointed out in our online panel discussion last week.

On a global scale, factory output has made up nearly all the ground it lost during the lockdowns. Services activity is still a lot below its pre-pandemic level, largely because services are vulnerable to people avoiding crowds and restrictions based on social distancing. The number of diners in restaurants remains 30%-40% lower than normal worldwide. The number of scheduled flights outside of China is about half what it was at the beginning of 2020.

Still, the doors of international travel are slowly opening again. The number of flights between China and other countries continues to increase, almost daily the lifting of yet another travel restriction especially in Asia is reported, even though many of these apply to business travellers and foreign residents.

The US will stop next month to require a quarantine after tourists entering US from China. Germany will start again from October to decide travel restrictions country by country instead of a blanket ban, which hopefully will put China on the green list.

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