Chinese travel agencies expect a gradual recovery of China outbound tourism in six to twelve months

International, Tourism

The 2020 China Market Recovery Special Edition conducted by ITB China, to analyze and present the most important Chinese market trends in a post-COVID-19 world

Berlin/Shanghai, 28 July 2020 – The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly imposed enormous impact on the worldwide travel industry. The latest ITB China Travel Trends Report, conducted by ITB China, the largest B2B exclusive travel trade show in China, examines the impact on the planned travel behaviour of the Chinese in the coming recovery phase.

The 2020 China Market Recovery Special Edition is based on a survey among 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, including interviews with several industry experts. The report is a yearly publication, updating global travel suppliers and Chinese buyers with the latest needs of the Chinese travel market, in order to get best prepared to restart travel business in China.

Asked about the recovery of the Chinese outbound travel market, 43 percent of those surveyed expect that outbound travel will recover within the next nine to twelve months. 33 percent think it might take six to nine months, whereas 20 percent believe it will take three to six months, and only four percent expect to see a recovery within the next three

months.

(Share of the surveyed travel companies that anticipate dynamics of travel market recovery)

“China was hit first and should therefore be one of the first countries to recover, which would prove to be positive for European-Chinese tourism cooperation. By the time Europe can go back to normal, China might be ready for long haul travel again.” said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Tourism Commission, in an interview with ITB China. “We expect the European travel industry to recover in 2021.”

How Chinese travel operators & outbound travel agencies are handling risk management

Coping with the COVID-19 crisis, Chinese travel operators and outbound travel agencies have made all efforts to prepare for the recovery by restructuring their operations, engaging in internal employee training programs as well as maintaining close external communication with partners and customers. The survey revealed that even with the suspension of business during the outbreak, travel agencies and travel-related companies have proactively and consistently communicated with their customers. 66.5 percent of the respondents communicate with stakeholders weekly, 16.5 percent share updates every two weeks, while 17 percent communicate on a monthly basis.

How Chinese travel operators & outbound travel agencies maintain customer relations and prepare for the recovery

(Shares of the surveyed travel companies who use different ways of maintaining customer relations)

James Liang, Trip.com Group Chairman said: “Different measures taken by different countries and territories will hinder international travels, which will impose certain pressure on short-term upward tendency. However, in the long run, the industry is extremely resilient and any irreversible change is highly unlikely.”

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