The Chinese outbound market is expected to take off with a rapid recovery in 2024.
Skift, an American travel magazine, reported on the 7th that travel industry officials and analysts predict that Chinese outbound demand will explode this year. Last year, the Chinese tourism industry was limited in its rebound due to flight restrictions and problems with obtaining visas, but this year, a green light is expected for the recovery of aviation, including visa easing in Europe and the United States. According to OAG, a British aviation analysis company, China's international seat recovery rate in December last year was only 62% of the pre-COVID-19 level, but the Chinese travel industry is expected to return to normalization in the near future, considering the recent recovery trend.
We are also seeing the effects of visa easing. According to Trip.com, searches for Singapore surged 80% after China and Singapore announced mutual visa waivers. Additionally, a permanent visa waiver with Thailand is scheduled to be implemented in March. Meanwhile, in addition to reciprocal visa exemptions, China has expanded its visa-free policy to seven countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and the United States.
The trend of China's Generation Z travelers is also noteworthy. A Chinese travel industry official noted that special experiential tourism, such as rural tourism, is gaining ground among Generation Z travelers. In 2023, people have been seeking unique experiences within the country, and this trend is expected to shift to overseas travel this year.
The China Tourism Research Institute estimated that domestic travel revenue in 2023 will have recovered to 90% of the 2019 peak. According to data following the National Day holiday in October, domestic travel by Chinese people continued to be active, with domestic travel spending exceeding pre-COVID levels by more than 10%.