Travel Industry in China under Covid-19: Route to recovery


With the restriction of movement under Covid-19, the travel industry in China has been hit hard. Back in 2003, we saw explosive growth of the travel industry in China after the SARS outbreak, and 17 years later, will we see the same route to recovery under the current context?


How did the China travel industry react after the SARS outbreak? 

China is finally returning to normal, two months after the Covid-19 outbreak brought the economy to a halt. One of the industries that are most impacted is the tourism industry.

How do OTAs engage with Chinese consumers? Where will Chinese travelers go after the crisis? Check the Study for more details

Even though domestic tourism attraction is reopening, Chinese consumers remain very cautious about resuming travel.

Right after Chinese New Year, on January 30th 2020,  the WHO classified the Covid-19 as a public health emergency. This resulted in strict decisions taken by several countries to suspend or change visa policy for Chinese visitors. From the United States to South Korea, travel bans were issued, over 50 international airlines cancelled flights to China.

The China Tourism Academy is estimating a $168 billion loss in China’s tourism income in 2020.

In 2003, China’s inbound, outbound and domestic travel industry was also hit hard, and the impact persisted until the end of June. However, the industry saw an immediate and drastic rebound from Q3, 2003 onward.

‘’According to historical figures, the impact of past epidemic outbreaks in modern history on travel never last for more than 1 year. We do believe that after the long lock-down, we’ll see explosive growth of the travel industry in China driven by Chinese consumers’ pent-up demand for tourism and consumption. However, the power of Covid-19, the scale of the impact, the time we are in, and mindsets of people are all different from what they were in 2003. The route to recovery will be different as well..’’

Patrice Nordey Managing Partner, International Strategy & Operations, Fabernovel

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