Saturday, May 25, 2024

Chinese tourism to US seen recovering by 2026

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Chinese tourism to the US is expected to take two more years to recover to pre-pandemic levels due to slow growth and high costs in China. Despite lifted travel restrictions, Chinese arrivals to the US remain well below 2019 levels, impacting US hotel revenue and causing job losses.

Geopolitical tensions and expensive flights between the two countries hinder tourism growth, while nearby Southeast Asian countries have seen significant increases in Chinese visitors. Recovery to pre-pandemic levels is forecasted by 2026.

As we reported earlier in the year, marketing agency China Trading Desk projected an eleven-fold rise in Chinese travel overseas in 2023, with a noteworthy spike in interest in places like South Korea and a decline in enthusiasm for the US. Chinese visitors to the US decreased to just 439,000 last year from over 4.4 million prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to the same report, there will be more than 1.3 million Chinese visitors to the US in 2024 — a threefold increase over 2023 levels but still 70% less than in 2019. Amid safety and logistical concerns, the founder of China Trading Desk, Subramania Bhatt, ascribed the lack of interest shown by Chinese tourists in the US to the growing bad portrayal of the nation in the Chinese news and on social media.

“Reports of mass shootings and videos of city streets overrun by homeless people have played a factor in keeping Chinese travel to the US low… Geopolitical tensions, the high cost of travel to the US and the unfavorable exchange rate haven’t helped either.”

Moreover, brands will need to factor in the evolving tastes of China’s younger millennial and Gen Z outbound travelers, which calls for creative solutions to meet the changing demands of customers.

The industry expects Chinese tourism to rise by an additional 50% this year, and it is important for brands and hospitality services to adjust to these changes in order to stay relevant in this new era of post-Covid international travel.

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