Domestic travel in China might be recovering after being hit by the COVID-19 crisis, but international travel might never be the same, says marketing analyst Ashley Dudarenok at Technode. People will likely never travel the same way internationally again, she adds.
On June 11, after 56 days of no local transmissions and as control measures began to loosen, Beijing had another outbreak. As a result, the city locked down again, and lots of flights were canceled. A similar situation occurred in Jilin not long ago. The local government blocked travel to and from the city since May 13th. However, these incidents haven’t affected people’s willingness to travel.
According to Fliggy, travel was up during the Dragon Boat Festival in June with the overall number of tourists returning to 60% of last year’s numbers. Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei have returned to (in Chinese) about 40% of last year’s levels.
So China’s tourism industry is gradually recovering despite strong Covid measures. With policy support from local governments and creative promotion, domestic tourism will spring back soon. However, international tourism will take longer and people will likely never travel the same way internationally again.
Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky has said that he believes travel will never be the same. He foresees people in the West limiting their travel to a 200 mile range from home, heading to nature spots and small centres. He believes the days of visiting big destinations like London, Rome, and Paris—and posing for photos in front of famous landmarks—is over.
Some of these trends are already playing out in China as destinations like Huzhou’s Giraffe Hotel, which mimics a safari experience in Africa, with real giraffes roaming the grounds, pop up. It brings to mind a former time in China, when famous foreign sites were created within its borders for travellers who would never have the chance to see them in real life.
The chance will come again, but fewer will want to take it up than before Covid-19 entered our lives.
Are you looking for more experts on China after the coronavirus crisis? Do check out this list.