China sees unstoppable momentum in tourism recovery
Chen Haonan

Chinese tourism industry is heating up rapidly following the increase in domestic tourism and the opening of international borders in 2023.

The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has welcomed nearly 3 million passenger trips as of February this year, with average hotel occupancy rate rising up to 74 percent, according to the Macao Government Tourism Office.

Asia Tourism Exchange Center (ATEC) predicts that outbound-border travel between the Chinese mainland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Macao Special Administrative Region will pick up in 2023.

ATEC believes that China will see a boom in tourism following the gradual release of pent up demand accumulated in the past three years.

Chinese travel agency saw a 300 percent year-on-year increase in outbound travel bookings in the January-March period, reported Securities Times. 

Domestic flight and hotel bookings on the platform have also surpassed the level seen in the same period in 2019.

China's resumption of outbound tourism is a major driving force to economic growth and social opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and globally, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in a statement.

According to UNWTO data, China was the world's largest tourism source market before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Chinese tourists made 166 million outbound passenger trips with a collective $255 billion spending.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism served as a pillar of growth and employment, with more than 6 billion passenger trips made in 2019 alone.

As the world looks forward to welcoming tourists with their hospitality once again, UNWTO has heralded the re-opening of China as "the final piece in tourism’s recovery" from the biggest crisis in tourism's history.

(Cover via CFP)

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