A comprehensive survey of Chinese travel agencies by ITB China has found that over 70% believe the industry should recover in less than 12 months.

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

The report is based on a survey of 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% of those surveyed expect that outbound travel will recover within the next nine to twelve months. 33% think it might take six to nine months, whereas 20% believe it will take three to six months, and only 4% expect to see a recovery within the next three months.                   

“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.”

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% of the respondents communicate with stakeholders weekly, 16.5% share updates every two weeks, while 17% communicate on a monthly basis.

James Liang, 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.”

Photo – top of page – Copyright 2019 Richard Barnes – Cleverdis – Chinese tourists in Brisbane, Australia

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