China will resume outbound group tours to more than 40 countries today, including France, Italy and Vietnam. The move is
China will resume outbound group tours to more than 40 countries today, including France, Italy and Vietnam.
The move is expected to boost international tourist numbers from China which were the highest out of any one country before the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and China´s late abandonment of its zero COVID-19 policy significantly reduced China’s tourism market share. Nevertheless, many countries such as Australia or the United States which were top destinations for Chinese tourists pre-pandemic will maintain travel restrictions on travelers from China and are not included in today´s resumption.
While outbound and inbound restrictions on Chinese tourists are likely to ease over time, a return to 2019 tourism levels from China is unlikely in the short to medium term. Geopolitical tensions with the west—for example over Chinese ambitions to absorb Taiwan —may incentivize China to limit travel overseas while western countries are likely to be warier of their tourism sectors becoming dependent on Chinese tourists. Additionally, China´s comparably low economic growth projections as well as global inflation may make overseas travel unaffordable for prospective Chinese tourists.