Chinese tourists to make 3.4 billion domestic trips in 2020

China: According to the China Tourism Academy, Chinese tourists will make 3.4 billion domestic trips in 2020.

The figure is down 43 per cent year on year from 2019 tourism statistics.

Revenue is also meant to fall by 2.76 trillion yuan [$394 billion] in 2020, half of its previous year’s total revenue. The country’s initial strict lockdowns have allowed life in the country to return to a degree of normality, but tourism has not fully rebounded yet.

China announced that tours across provincial borders would be allowed again from mid-July, hoping to encourage domestic travel. It also increased the carrying capacity for Chinese attractions from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

A majority of tourism-focused businesses have returned to operation. 90 per cent of hotels and destinations have reopened, while 60 per cent of travel agencies have returned to work expressing confidence that they will recover.

The short-term rental market is still in flux, as demand in the Chinese property market stagnates. According to AirDNA, booking rates in June were down 29 per cent from last year.

Tourists have mostly embraced destinations close to home, in order to preserve safety. This mirrors western trends of staycations and trips to drive-by destinations.

Jiang Hong, chairman of China Travel International Investment Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post: “The psychological effect of the virus is still lingering, so the traditional long-distance tour group has not recovered much. But our family-oriented attraction complexes that include theme parks and hotels, and are located around big city clusters, such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou, [in August] have matched or surpassed the level in the same period last year.”

Domestic air travel in the country has nearly completely recovered, however, with data from ForwardKeys noting arrivals have met 86 per cent of 2019 levels. Airlines have implemented significant discounts, such as unlimited flight deals, in order to resuscitate the market.