Tourists enjoy the food in Yaowarat, or Bangkok’s Chinatown. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The percentage of mainland Chinese travelers who are “eager to travel” as soon as they can has more than doubled in the past year, according to a newly released survey.
It has been a difficult time for the Chinese travel industry. Quarantine, strict lockdown policies and inconvenience have all been listed as reasons to postpone domestic and overseas travel.
As Beijing begins to ease zero-Covid restrictions, huge pent-up demand for international travel signals a sharp rebound in the cards.
38% of 1,003 respondents in a survey conducted by marketing solutions company Dragon Trail International say they would book a vacation outside of mainland China within six months of lifting their quarantine-on-arrival policy.
Attitudes towards the quarantine-on-arrival policy have changed considerably – 59% of respondents now want it to be relaxed, up 20 percentage points since a spring survey – and travel industry stakeholders are addressing to Chinese visitors should position themselves to take advantage of it.
Among other findings from the survey, conducted in 49 tier one and two cities between November 7 and 20 and released on Wednesday, is that more than 88 percent of respondents expressed concern about their future impact on host environments and communities. , which suggests eco-lodging and other tourism establishments with eco-credentials will be well positioned to take advantage of them when travel normalizes.
Chinese vacationers are looking for authentic experiences such as tasting local food (60.8% expressed this preference) and lifestyles (56.7%). Providers of bed and breakfast accommodation should take advantage of this, especially properties outside traditional tourist districts.
Chinese travelers are cautious when it comes to safety: The number of respondents wanting to know if a potential destination is safe has increased and is second only to convenience in determining vacation choices.
Of the 15 destinations it specified, only Hong Kong saw a significant increase in its perception of being “safe” (47%, up from 37% in March).
In response to the question “If restrictions allowed, where would you most like to travel?”, Hong Kong ranks first, with Japan, Macau, Thailand and South Korea rounding out the top five destinations for aspiring mainland Chinese travelers ‘ wishlist.
Seaside resorts are preferred by more than half of Dragon Trail International respondents. With its 3,200 kilometers of coastline, Thailand is sure to benefit from a return of Chinese visitors, while the report suggests the Maldives and Australia should also prepare for an influx of Chinese beachgoers when restrictions are finally lifted.