The latest ITB China travel trends report, conducted by ITB China, has examined the impact the coming recovery phase will have on the planned travel behaviour of Chinese outbound tourists, with the largest group of those surveyed expecting recovery in this market in 9-12 months.
The 2020 China Market Recovery Special Edition is based on an annual survey among 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, including interviews with industry experts.
When asked about the recovery of the Chinese outbound travel market, 43% of those surveyed expect that outbound travel will recover within the next nine to 12 months. 33% think it might take six to nine months, whereas 20% believe it will take three to six months, and only 4% expect to see a recovery within the next three months.
Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Tourism Commission, said: “China was hit first and should therefore be one of the first countries to recover, which would prove to be positive for European-Chinese tourism co-operation. By the time Europe can go back to normal, China might be ready for long haul travel again. We expect the European travel industry to recover in 2021.”
Chinese travel operators and outbound travel agencies have been preparing for Covid-19 recovery by restructuring their operations, engaging in internal employee training programmes as well as maintaining external communication with partners and customers. The survey revealed that even with the suspension of business during the outbreak, travel agencies and travel-related companies have communicated with their customers. Two-thirds (66.5%) of the respondents communicate with stakeholders weekly, 16.5% share updates every two weeks, while 17% communicate on a monthly basis.
Trip.com group chairman, James Liang, said: “Different measures taken by different countries and territories will hinder international travels, which will impose certain pressure on short-term upward tendency. However, in the long run, the industry is extremely resilient and any irreversible change is highly unlikely.”