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China’s domestic tourism is on track to recover from the pandemic: Fitch Ratings

China’s domestic tourism – a key indicator of retail spending – is on track to recover after falling to an all-time low during the lockdown, according to official data and analysts. worst in this country.

Fitch Ratings said that since the mainland’s biggest shutdown in Shanghai ended in late May, an increase in holiday bookings suggests tourism spending will recover in the second half of the year.

This upsurge comes after revenue and tourism numbers in China bottomed out in the first half of 2022 and nearly halved from the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit, Fitch added.

China-based China-based Fitch Ratings analysts Flora Zhu and Jenny Huang said: “China’s Covid-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions and more targeted pandemic control measures has boosted tourism demand, despite ongoing sporadic outbreaks.”

“The slow recovery in the tourism sector has created a drag on the economy due to its large contribution, accounting for about 11% of GDP and 10% of national employment in 2019.”

Visitors walk under cherry blossom trees in full bloom at Jimingsi Road on March 22, 2016 in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China.

VCG

Following a series of easing measures by Beijing – including easing of travel bans between provinces and the restriction of excessive control measures by local governments in June – tourist numbers have declined. up more than 62% month-over-month, Fitch Ratings said, citing. China official data.

Data from online travel agencies like Tuniu Corporation shows a 112% increase in bookings compared to July, Fitch said.

Average daily tourist arrivals at Xinjiang’s top-rated tourist destinations, or “5A’s,” spiked to 110,000 in July from 19,000 in October, Fitch analysts said. 5, Fitch analysts said. It said Yunnan’s Dali city, a popular tourist destination, attracted 6.9 million tourists – a 46 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The Fitch report says recent outbreaks in Hainan, Xinjiang and Tibet are unlikely to pull tourism back on as there are fewer tourists in these regions than in the rest of the country.

But the recovery, while strong, is still patchy across regions, with short-haul travel operators in particular going to outperform national scenic tour companies targeting to national visitors, it added.

Chinese consumers will continue to favor local and shorter trips amid the pandemic, the report said.

The pandemic has also transformed China’s domestic tourism industry, business consulting firm China Briefing said in a note last week.

Group travel destinations have lost some popularity as Chinese tourists head for family vacations, wellness tours and research trips, it said.

CTrip, China’s leading online travel agency, said in its summer travel report last month that “parent-child” or family travel, as opposed to tours China’s major bus schedule, has increased.

Signs of recovery have appeared across China’s overall retail spending including tourism.

New data on Monday showed July retail spending rose 2.7% year-on-year after a surprise 3.1% increase in June, although the latest results for July did not. met analysts’ expectations of an increase of 4% to 5%.

This was the first increase in retail spending since February, when consumption picked up after waves of infections and Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

In May, as Shanghai faced its worst lockdown, retail sales fell 6.7% annual.

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