Chinese tourists are back amid COVID restrictions ease

Bookings of trips in China point to a continuous recovery in tourism to Asian counties, however, numbers are still far from pre-COVID times.

According to the largest Chinese travel firm, Ctrip, overseas tour bookings for the upcoming holiday are up by 157 percent from the beginning of April.

In February, over 150,000 Chinese tourists visited Thailand, according to the Thai Ministry of Tourism, this is three year high. However, the number remains 85 percent below February 2019 levels.

Trips to South Korea and Japan have recovered as well by a percentage of around five to ten percent in comparison to February 2019.

“It mainly has to do with supply-side constraints in the air industry and tourism sector in destination countries,” said Sheana Yue, Chinese economist at Capital Economics.

For Chinese tourists, Thailand and the U.S. are in the top 10 destinations.

Chinese tourists play a crucial role in the regional economies, since they account for 30-35 percent of all arrivals into Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan in the summer of 2019, and 25 percent of tourists to Philippines.

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