Original title: 25.62 million outbound tourists this year, less than 20% in 2019
21st Century Business Herald reporter Gao Jianghong reports from Beijing On November 22, the International Research Institute of China Tourism Academy released the “Annual Report on China’s Outbound Tourism Development 2021” (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”). The “Report” pointed out that the number of outbound tourists in 2020 was 20.334 million, a year-on-year decrease of 86.9%. In 2021, the number of outbound tourists is predicted to be 25.62 million. Although slightly higher than in 2020, it will only recover 17% compared to 2019. If the data of Macau and Hong Kong are deducted, the number of outbound tourists is likely to be only a few million.
Yang Jinsong, director of the International Research Institute (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Research Institute) of the China Tourism Academy, believes that there is a lot of uncertainty in the development of outbound tourism in 2022. The future recovery and development of outbound tourism depends on the combined effect of multiple factors. He reminded all parties involved in outbound tourism, including the government and the industry, that they need to make adequate preparations.
The “Report” shows that under the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, outbound tourism is still basically at a standstill. Starting from January 24, 2020, both sides of my country’s outbound tourism supply and demand, as well as industries and markets, have seen a cliff-like decline. In February 2020, the number of outbound tourists from my country dropped sharply from tens of millions in January to less than 600,000. Since the group outbound tourism was completely stopped, only scattered tourists went out in the subsequent months, and the overall outbound tourist visits remained at a very low level.
From the perspective of the structure of outbound destinations, Asia continues to occupy the first place in intercontinental destinations, accounting for 95.45%. This is followed by Europe, America, Oceania and Africa. On the whole, shorter-distance destinations are less affected by the impact of the epidemic. Tourists to Asia, Europe, Oceania, America and Africa have decreased by between 70% and 95% year-on-year. Among them, Asia had the smallest decrease, and Oceania had the largest decrease. Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are still the most important destinations for outbound tourism, accounting for more than 80% of the total.
The top fifteen outbound tourist destinations are Macau, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Indonesia, with a decrease of 66%. And 98%. There are obvious signs of recovery in the mainland tourist market to Macau, China.
The “Report” pointed out that in the short term, the situation of epidemic prevention and control is directly related to the possibility of restarting outbound tourism. Countries and regions are promoting the new crown vaccination in an orderly manner in an effort to revive the tourism industry. In countries and regions where the epidemic is well controlled, the movement of people and travel have begun to try to get on the right track. Vaccine is a key variable in the prevention and control of the new crown pneumonia epidemic. The vaccination rate and effectiveness of the vaccine affect the recovery process of the tourism industry. At present, my country’s epidemic prevention and control measures have been regularized, including vaccination, rapid nucleic acid testing, digital health codes, issuing vaccine passports, wearing masks, and avoiding crowd gathering, etc., providing experience and technical preparation for the future recovery of outbound tourism. The gradual recovery of domestic tourism under the normalized prevention and control of the epidemic also brings confidence in the future restart of overseas tourism.
The “Report” also stated that safety, short-distance and companionship have become the focus of future outbound tourism. “The safety of outbound travel” is the focus of the interviewees. The main factors affecting outbound travel are “safety hazards” and “insufficient time.” Survey data shows that the prerequisite for outbound travel is that the epidemic is fully controlled. 82.8% of the respondents will travel only when they are sure that a destination is no longer infected with the new coronavirus. Respondents are more inclined to avoid choosing crowded tourist destinations. 81.6% of the respondents indicated that they would choose domestic travel rather than outbound travel in the future. 71.7% of the respondents were reluctant to travel abroad by air due to the outbreak of the new crown epidemic. Most of the interviewees expected the time of outbound travel in the future within a week. The proportion of respondents who plan to stay for 1-7 days is more than 60%, of which nearly 50% are for 4-7 days. The proportion of respondents who plan to stay for more than 15 days is less than 10%.
Yang Jinsong said that there are great uncertainties in the development of outbound tourism in 2022. At present, the haze of the epidemic situation around the world has not disappeared, and the epidemic situation in different regions, countries and regions is ups and downs, and it is even unstoppable. In the global prevention and control of the new crown epidemic, imbalances are still prominent. The prevention and control requirements between different destinations, including border control and flight arrangements, are tight and sometimes loose, and the efficiency of mutual policy coordination needs to be improved. The security needs of cross-border tourism cannot be fully guaranteed in the short term. Coupled with the increasingly active unilateralism and protectionism that undermine facilitation in the name of epidemic prevention and control, the environment facing the development of outbound tourism is severe and complex, and uncertainties are prominent.
The future recovery and development of outbound tourism depends on the combined effect of multiple factors. For parties involved in outbound travel, adequate preparation is required. He suggested that at the government level, it is necessary to continuously evaluate the epidemic prevention and control situation and strengthen communication and policy coordination. Explore the possibility of opening up outbound tourism under the premise of ensuring safety; evaluate the possibility of opening up outbound tourism arrangements including “tourism bubbles” and “tourism sandboxes”, and promote the implementation of specific plans; introduce and encourage the digitalization process to promote The use of advanced technologies in the prevention and control of the epidemic and the recovery of outbound tourism; intensify efforts to relieve difficulties and encourage relevant market entities to overcome difficulties in various ways.
At the industry level, Yang Jinsong suggested that destinations and market players need to continue to innovate in terms of model optimization, market promotion and product development. Changes in the characteristics of outbound tourists’ consumption behavior and expectations for future outbound tourism, the reshaping of the supply chain and the deeper and deeper industrial integration process will provide a useful reference for the actions of relevant parties such as overseas destinations and market entities.
(Author: Gao Jianghong, Editor: Li Qingyu)