Editorial: Optimism in Dark Times

Optimism in Dark Times

Experts in new COTRI eBook and Chinese Tourism Companies see Light at the End of the Tunnel

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

In the last weeks we ran a little survey asking participants about their forecast for their own business success with the Chinese outbound tourism market in 2022 compared to 2019. How the business success was measured, was the decision of the participants: Simply by arrival numbers, or by turnover, by margin, by brand value, by level of satisfaction of customers etc.

The result was quite encouraging, even though of course the survey is not representative:

We had 38 participants, out of which 29 voted for “MUCH BETTER” (76%), 4 voted for “SOMEWHAT BETTER” (11%), 3 voted for “SAME” (8%) and 2 for “SOMEWHAT WORSE” (5%). Nobody voted for “MUCH WORSE” (0%).

Accordingly, more than three quarters of the participants have a very positive forecast. “Much better” and “Somewhat better” is the opinion of almost nine out of ten participants.

A recent China Daily article also concentrated on the positive aspects of the future of China’s outbound tourism. Tourism industry insiders say, according to China Daily, that many Chinese are likely to venture abroad once the pandemic ends. Chinese tourists’ appetite for traveling overseas will prevail despite the ongoing pandemic.

“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,” Wendy Min, director of international affairs at Trip.com Group was quoted.

Min said she is optimistic about the recovery of Chinese outbound tourism after the pandemic. “The industry may see revenge travel after the pandemic, when there is a vaccine and when international flights are resumed.”

Your humble editor was also quoted in this article as saying that the desire of Chinese to see the world has not changed because of the pandemic, but that after the pandemic, the way that Chinese tourists travel will change.

Much more about this topic will be discussed in two panel discussions at a seminar on the occasion of the book launch on August 4th, when COTRI will launch the new eBook Welcoming the New Chinese Outbound Tourists.

During the seminar, in cooperation with BUZZ community, Planet Payment and the Shanghai World Tourism Fair, European and Asian experts who have been interviewed for the eBook will share in two panels their views on the future of China’s outbound tourism. In the interviews they already gave some clear forecasts.

Istvan Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament and former Vice-Chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee in the EP, states in the interview with him that “Tourism is an industry of ‘peace’; travel and getting to know another culture better is the future of our globe. The relations are getting stronger and stronger. I think your forecast (the dominance of China as No. 1 international tourism source market in the new decade to increase further) is correct for the future, but we will have a temporary period to find the most sustainable ways of travel.”

Xu Jing, for many years the leader of the Asia-Pacific Department of the UNWTO, sees “ample room for growth when it comes to the Chinese outbound market. Still, the vast majority of the Chinese outbound traffic comes from the so-called first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The second and the third tier cities are yet to be tapped. …. My feeling is that China will bounce back much quicker than most other countries.”

Anders Ellemann Kristensen, General Manager of the Albatros Group in China, categorically states that “Chinese will want to travel, and I don´t see that’s that has changed.”

By the way, for all participants in the book launch on August 4th (10:00 – 13:00 h Berlin time, 16:00 – 19:00 h Beijing time), the eBook will be available for a special price of 98,- Euros instead of 128,- Euros (incl. VAT).

As always, all best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team.

COTRI Intelligence

COTRI Intelligence is the indispensable source of weekly consulting, analysis, data and news for everybody seriously interested in the post-pandemic Chinese outbound tourism market and changing Chinese consumer preferences.  COTRI Intelligence is published by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute and edited by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS. Regional partners and Content partners [...]

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