Chinese Domestic Tourism Thrives Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Chinese Domestic Tourism Thrives Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Chinese Domestic Tourism Thrives Amidst Economic Uncertainty

By Alabidun Shuaib AbdulRahman

Amidst significant economic challenges facing the Chinese economy, domestic tourism emerges as a notable exception, according to recent data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as reported by BBC.

Excel Magazine International learnt that last week’s five-day Labour Day public holiday witnessed a staggering 295 million trips within China, marking a remarkable 28% increase compared to pre-pandemic figures of 2019.

The Transport Ministry further substantiates these statistics with remarkable figures: 92 million rail trips, nearly 10 million air trips, and an astounding 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, amidst this surge in domestic travel, international arrivals continue to lag significantly, with foreigners entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels, prompting questions about this disparity.

Wuzhen, renowned for its historical charm, attracts visitors from across the nation, with its picturesque pathways and traditional hanfu clothing posing for photos, reminiscent of bygone eras. Visitors, like two friends from Jilin Province, express admiration for Wuzhen’s classical beauty, indicating a broader trend of post-pandemic travel resurgence among acquaintances.

BBC further report that local vendors, echoing sentiments of improved tourism numbers, hint at a return to pre-pandemic levels of activity. Such optimism within the tourism sector bodes well for the Chinese government’s emphasis on domestic consumption as a countermeasure to economic challenges.

Nevertheless, analysts remain skeptical about achieving the Communist Party’s target of “around 5%” GDP growth for the year, given persistent concerns about the reliability of official growth figures and the need for substantial additional stimulus.

Despite these uncertainties, a robust domestic travel scene offers potential for broader business opportunities and increased employment within the service industry.

Schubert Lou, Chief Operating Officer at, highlights the surge in domestic travel demand, with search volumes in hotels and flight bookings significantly exceeding previous year’s figures.

However, concerns persist regarding per capita consumption, which remains relatively low amidst economic uncertainty, prompting travelers to seek value options and adopt more frugal spending habits.

While domestic travel flourishes, the tourism industry grapples with the decline in international arrivals, attributed in part to geopolitical tensions and unfavorable perceptions of China in Western nations.

Official travel advisories from various governments caution against travel to mainland China, citing arbitrary enforcement of local laws and potential risks of detention.

Efforts to improve international travel include measures to streamline visa applications and increase direct passenger flights, albeit with limitations imposed by both geopolitical factors and industry dynamics.


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