In April and May this year many destinations recorded double or single digit arrival numbers from China, some countries like Estonia and Slovenia had even Zero Chinese visitors. From June at least in Europe the numbers increased, as those Chinese who were already in the Schengen area can travel within the Schengen region since June 15th. Therefore in terms of percentage the growth has been enormous when the second and the third quarter 2020 are compared. However, if 2020 is compared to 2019, most destinations still see a decrease of 98% or 99%.
There is one major exception: Macau SAR. Because Mainland Chinese living in Guangdong could travel to Macau without the need to go into quarantine when returning, in August alone more than 200,000 border crossings were recorded. About 30% of them stayed overnight, 70% were same-day visitors.
For September, the number will grow even further, as the relaxation of the quarantine rule now applies to all Mainland Chinese, who can apply for an entry permission in the IVS system.
Counting all border crossings, the third quarter will probably see a total of about 600,000 visits to Macau and Hong Kong and about 300,000 to 400,000 visits to other destinations.
For October even higher visitor numbers to Macau can be expected. The chairman of Trip.com, James Liang, recently co-hosted a special live streaming event at The Venetian Macao to promote travel to the SAR during the October National Day Golden Week. As part of a joint initiative between the Macau SAR government, Trip.com Group and Tencent, travel coupons worth a total of RMB 150 million will be issued to mainland Chinese tourists to use when booking hotels in Macau.
However, Chinese tourists will come back to the rest of the world as well and need to be prepared for. In two weeks, the CHINA SUMMIT will look for a whole week at the future of Chinese tourism, with a constantly increasing list of major speaker and panellists guaranteeing a high quality of information. Updated programmes and portraits of the speakers can be found at expo.buzz.travel. The CHINA SUMMIT is co-organised by Buzz.travel and the GITF Guangzhou International Travel Fair and will be opened by a representative of the Guangzhou government and Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of the UNWTO. It is certainly a good idea to sponsor this event to show towards the Chinese business partner the continuous support of the Chinese market. If interested, please contact COTRI.
The Chinese outbound market is changing, and new trainings and market research are necessary to prepare for the future development. It was very interesting to hear that during the agb Webinar on Sept. 23rd your humble editor took part in, a VIP marketing expert Shirley Tam, based in Manila, spoke about the changes resorts, casinos and hotels already putting into practice beyond sanitation and hygiene. Offers for children to become more family-friendly, additional shows and exhibitions to widen the scope of entertainment are prepared for the time when Chinese visitors will come again to the Philippines. In case you missed the agb Webinar, you can see it here: https://rb.gy/vfsxey
Best wishes as always from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team!